Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. Last week I spent $12.72 on a small tub of Marcona almonds. From Whole Foods, no less. At a time when gasoline tops $4.00 a gallon, maple syrup fetches $6.79 a bottle, and the price of milk and eggs causes me searing pain, expending wads of cash on Spanish nuts feels recklessly profligate.
The payoff, though, is great. These nuts -- so oily, rich, salty, sublime -- inspire my culinary creativity like few other foods. I have so many ideas for how to use them I'm practically hyperventilating.
First up: a ridiculously easy side dish. At the farmers' market, sugar snap peas called out to me like emerald temptresses. Into my sack they went. At home, I dug out my coarse sea salt, a small bottle of almond oil, and the Marconas.
It took all of 3 minutes to put the ingredients together. And they were worth every perfect, costly bite.
Recipe for Bank-Breaking Almond Snap Peas
The simplicity of this recipe belies its enormous flavor impact. The almond oil, Marcona almonds, and coarse salt are key ingredients, but you can always swap in olive oil, regular almonds, and plain salt if you must. I can almost guarantee, however, that the result will pale in comparison.
2 teaspoons almond oil
2 cups very fresh sugar snap peas
1/4 cup Marcona almonds
coarse sea salt
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add snap peas and sauté for 2 minutes, or until shiny and hot, but still quite crisp. Sprinkle with almonds and coarse sea salt. Serve immediately.