I was helping my friend do a cheese platter for her New Year’s Eve party and she had some pecans to accompany the cheeses. We jazzed them up with some brown sugar and chili powder and they were a nice addition to the cheese platter. It was so quick and easy, it got me thinking that instead of buying packages upon packages of flavour nuts, I could make my own in small batches and customize the flavours.

I had some raw cashews in my pantry, and fresh rosemary in the fridge. I knew those flavours would go well together, but I wanted a bit of spice. I added harissa and these have become my new favourite nut mix.

Rosemary Harissa Cashews


Course Snack
Servings 3 cups


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 3 cups raw cashews
  • 1 tsp harissa spice
  • tsp sea salt


  • Place a large frying pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and the sprig of rosemary and let fry for a few minutes until the oil is hot and you hear a sizzle. You will also start to smell the rosemary.
  • Add the cashews to the pan. Stir until all the nuts are coated with oil. Fry for 5 minutes string often so the nuts don’t burn.
  • Add the harissa and 1 teaspoon salt and toss for another minute. The nuts should be a golden colour, if not continue frying for a few more minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and disgard the rosemary. Sprinkle with the remaining salt. You can serve them warm, they will be slightly soft but will crisp as they cool.
  • Store in an airtight container. 


I used raw nuts, but if you have nuts that are already roasted then you will be warming the nuts with the spices instead of roasting them. Also note, that most roasted nuts are salted, so add salt to taste.
Harissa is a North African spice mix that has red chili flakes, garlic, cumin, caraway seeds, coriander, and spearmint leaves. It has a nice level of heat with a brightness to it.