Sometimes the simplest things are often the best, don't you find?
Think of how many classics are little more than the combination of two ingredients: PB and J, rum and coke, milk and cookies, Hall and Oates ...
(In fact, if you want to have your mind blown just a bit, check out BuzzFeed's list of insanely simple 2-ingredient recipes -- but be forewarned, some are just kind of creepy).
Anyhoo. I like to keep things simple. Which is why I often blow off little extra steps in recipe if it seems that they might slow down my dinner-making process -- steps like toasting some nuts to put on top of a salad. Pfffft. Sure, I know the nuts taste better toasted, but that's just going to add to both the prep time and the number of pans that need to be washed after dinner.
Yet in making a Brussels sprout salad last week, I felt that it needed a leeetle somethin-somethin to put it over the top, just a little bit of sweetness (Mr. Ninj said that removing all the Brussels sprouts would have made it perfect; I ignored him).
Sweet made me think of candied nuts. But with just a hint of salt. And, in the name of keeping it simple and fast, these maple candied pecans have only three ingredients: raw pecans, pure maple syrup and a finishing dash of sea salt.
Let me tell you, they were the crowning glory of that salad. This time, the extra step was worth it.
While I originally made these maple candied pecans as a salad topping, there tons of other great ways to enjoy them. Try scattering a handful on top of your morning oatmeal or crumble them into a cup of yogurt and fruit. I've taken to adding a small bowlful of them to a cheese board, alongside another newly discovered gem, warm salted dates. Or, frankly, just eat them as a snack.
Ermergahd, they are sweet-and-salty perfection, all on their own.
Are you a sweet-and-salty fan? How would you use these maple candied pecans? Leave a comment: The Ninj wants to know.
Maple Candied Pecans
1 cup raw pecan halves
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
coarse salt for finishing (I used Maldon sea salt flakes)
Heat a skillet or small saucepan over medium heat. Add the pecans and maple syrup, stir to coat and then cook, stirring often, about 3-4 minutes or until the pecans are warmed and the syrup has caramelized (there won't be much liquid left in the pan). Spread the nuts on piece of parchment paper and sprinkle with salt. Cool completely and remove from parchment.