I’m convinced I was a grizzly bear in a past life… No seriously, hear me out.
I tend to hibernate in the cooler months here in Sydney. I do this by finding excuses to stay at home on the weekend, canceling appointments when it is raining (because who likes going out in the rain? Not me!) and storing up my fat for the winter 😉
When the warmer weather hits, I immediately come out of hibernation and start inviting people over to come for lunch or dinner on the weekend. The months of entertaining at home are my favourite. I love it when people come over, bring the alcohol and then leave after a lazy afternoon/evening and neither Scotty or I have to draw the short straw of driving home. It is win-win for us.
We have had two weekend lunches with two different couples in as many weeks, and the menus for each couldn’t have been more different. Prior to the first lunch I had a lot of time so 3 hour roast pork belly was the feature, but with the second lunch we were very time poor so pre-prepared large mushroom and cavolo nero pies were the star which just required a bake in the oven after the guests arrived.
Whatever your time limitations, the key with having people over is not trying to biting off more than you can chew. Sure, we all want to impress with a plethora of amazing recipes, but we have to be realistic – if making pastry for that tart is going to cause you stress… then don’t do it.
With a few quick and easy elements you can elevate your guests dining experience to have them think that you are a wonder-host, without being up till midnight the night before.
This is where this quick and easy recipe for Spiced Maple and Black Sesame Walnuts comes in. It always surprises me how impressed people are when a few home roasted nuts are put in front of them. If you come over to my house for a meal, the entree will always be a cheese board as it buys me a lot of time in the kitchen to prep the main. The trick is to buy a couple of good quality cheeses and quince paste, then add a healthy serving of home roasted and flavoured nuts.
Spiced Maple and Black Sesame Walnuts
- 500g natural walnuts
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon ground smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons honey
Preheat your oven to 180° Celsius.
Reserving the walnuts, mix all remaining ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. Add the walnuts right at the end and mix with your hands until the walnuts are completely coated in the mixture.
Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper and top with the coated walnuts, being sure not to overlap the walnuts too much.
Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool (the nuts will harden as they cool). Once cool, break apart any that have stuck todage and serve immediately or store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
They will keep for up to 3 weeks in an airtight container,