Sunday, March 13, 2011

Easy Party Food - Rosemary Cashews

My mother, Janet, is the one who veganized this recipe.  Unlike some more stubborn southern cooks, my mom actually attempts to make food that my sister (a vegetarian) and I can eat.  I especially appreciate her effort because at some extended family functions, I have faced a whole buffet of vegetable dishes liberally doused in cream or flavored with chunks of bacon.  Throughout this blog, I plan to showcase some southern family favorites that my mother and I have figured out how to turn into delicious (and healthier!) vegan comfort and party foods.

These cashews are just as appropriate as a snack at a football-watching party as they are as an hors d'oeuvre at a dressy dinner party.  They keep very well in an airtight container, so they can be made ahead of time.  I serve them at room temperature for what I think is the best flavor, but they're tasty warm, too!

Rosemary Cashews

3 cups of cashews, roasted and unsalted
1 Tablespoon Earth Balance, melted (see note)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh rosemary leaves (fresh is key here -- do not use dried rosemary!)

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Spread the cashews on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake for 10-12 minutes, until warmed.
  3. While the cashews are warming, in a large bowl, whisk together the Earth Balance, cayenne, brown sugar, and sea salt.  Add the rosemary and stir to combine.
  4. Using a spatula, toss the warm cashews with the Earth Balance mixture until well combined.
  5. Let sit for at least a few minutes (I like to let them cool completely), then transfer to a pretty serving bowl.  If storing the cashews, let them cool completely, then store in an airtight container.
Note: Earth Balance is a brand of non-dairy butter substitute.  For baking and flavor, I have yet to find a butter substitute better than Earth Balance.  Thus, it is one of the few products you will see me reference by brand name.  However, any vegan butter substitute will do.  As I have mentioned before, I prefer to buy the Earth Balance sticks (instead of the tub) because the sticks make measuring for cooking and baking so easy!

Credit where credit is due:
A nod to Ina Garten, very much not-a-vegan, who is apparently the source of the inspiration for this recipe.  Also a nod to Susan Allison, my sister's boyfriend's mom sister, who originally introduced our family to these addicting little nuts.


  1. I'm enjoying your blog so far! Slight correction to this post: David's sister, Allison, was the one who first made these delicious cashews for us.