Sweet, salty, spicy mixed nuts & marinaed olives

Both of these recipes make great additions for antipasto/tapas and also editable gifts. 


Sweet, salty, spicy mixed nuts 
These are great to serve to guests with drinks, or just to have on hand as a snack. You can use any nuts you like, but walnuts and cashews are especially good.  
Time: 5 minutes preparation | 15 minutes cooking  
Serves: Makes 4 cups  
Give: This recipe makes a great homemade gift  

4 cups mixed nuts (I use pistachios, cashews, walnuts, and almonds)  
½ cup tightly packed brown sugar 
¼ cup of water 
1 tablespoon butter 
1½ teaspoons flaky sea salt  
1 teaspoon ground cumin 
1 teaspoon allspice  
1 teaspoon smoked paprika 
1 teaspoon black pepper  
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a tray with sides (so the liquid doesn’t drip off) with baking paper. Spread the nuts out and set aside. In a small pot, combine the sugar, water, and butter and stir over a medium/high heat until melted and the sugar has dissolved. Pour over the nuts. Combine the spices together in a bowl (use more cayenne pepper if you want it extra spicy), and scatter over the nuts. Bake for 10 minutes, toss well, then bake for a further 3-5 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes, and then break apart. Stores in an airtight container for several weeks.  


For the marinated olives 
These olives take on more flavour the longer they are left and can be made months in advance, but you can also eat them right away. Always use olives with stones still in them, as they have a much better flavour.  
Time: 5 minutes preparation | 5 minutes cooking  
Serves: Makes approximately 2 cups  
Give: This recipe makes a great homemade gift 
1 teaspoon fennel seeds 
1 teaspoon coriander seeds 
2 large cloves garlic, smashed  
5 bay leaves 
1 orange, zested 
½ cup olive oil 
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar  
450g (1lb) olives with stones in   
Place the fennel and coriander seeds into a medium-sized pot and over a medium heat toast until they are slightly browned and fragrant. Add the garlic, bay leaves, orange zest, olive oil, vinegar and olives and heat until the olives and oil mixture is warm. Season to taste, then serve immediately or store in the fridge in an airtight container. If storing, warm again before serving.  
Note: I use a mix of Sicilian and Kalamata olives