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How to Make a Spicy Parmesan-Almond Salad Topping

The title of today’s post sounds a little different than normal.  Rather than just saying, “Recipe: Spicy Almond Topping,” it sounds like a search query.  Why?  Because I spent all weekend trying to find guidance on how to accomplish this recipe and the only thing my searches retrieved was the Sunkist website featuring recipes with one of their products.  Not what I was looking for.

What was I looking for?  Well, I was looking for a homemade recipe to rival Sunkist’s product, Almond Accents.  Instead of croutons, I normally buy a bag of this salad topper and life is great!  Unfortunately, this particular product has become near to non-existent in my area.  All the stores that used to carry it don’t anymore.  I nearly cried.  I love this stuff.

No time like the present to try to recreate it at home, which is much cheaper anyway.

I must admit at this point that this isn’t really a recipe, but more a recipe in progress.  There are a few things that probably need to be changed.  However, I think that I got it more right than wrong.  So let’s get started.

To try this recipe on your own, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup (or less) of almond milk
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s seasoning (Cajun seasoning)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • parchment paper

Making this is super simple. Even I could do it, with just a few bits of information gathered from here and there.

  • Preheat your toaster oven (or regular oven) to 225 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, pour the almond milk over the sliced almonds.  Mix and make sure that all almond slices are coated.  Drain.  Return the almonds to the bowl.
  • Pulse the parmesan cheese, cajun seasoning, and garlic powder  in a food processor until it looks grated instead of shred.
  • Pour the grated cheese/seasoning mixture into the bowl and mix with the wet almonds until all almonds are well coated.
  • Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Spread the almonds, in a single layer, onto the baking pan
  • Bake the almonds for 20-22 minutes until the cheese is crispy and the almonds are toasted.  Note: Check progress after 15 minutes.  Keep a close eye on the almonds until they look ready.

Mostly, this recipe worked extremely well.  The next time I make it, I’m going to try it without wetting the almonds first.  I’m not sure if that made a difference or not.  This made it harder to get the almonds into a single layer. Which in turn caused parts of the cheese not to be as crispy as I’d like.  Minor things really.  Otherwise, this was a big win for me!

P.S. For an extra spicy kick, add a drop or two of hot sauce to the almonds when you mix it with the cheese/seasonings.

Be the bento everyone!

Comments

  1. Meredith says:

    Hi! I, too, can no longer find my beloved Almond Accents and knew making them should be a cinch. So thank you for titling this post the way you did ;)

    I was just wondering if you ended up making these again? I made a batch today without the almond milk and the cheese never quite stuck to the almonds. It’ll still be a tasty salad topping since it’s toasted cheese and almonds (nothing wrong with that). Anyway, I was curious if you perfected the method.

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