Strawberry Balsamic Pecan Clusters with Black Pepper
I promise this will be the last recipe (for a while) that contains nuts…until I get a craving to make up another flavorful nut-cluster combination that’s inspired by Sahale. I might start getting a reputation. But who doesn’t love the strawberry-balsamic-pepper flavor combination? I’ve been watching a lot of Food Network lately, and it’s been giving me all kinds of inspiring ideas. I would apologize for nut overload, but I think this latest cluster is pretty awesome, so, you’re welcome.
Let’s get right to it, shall we?
1/4 cup chopped dried strawberries
1/2 pound pecans
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
227 calories, 21g (healthy) fat, 10.3g carbs, 2.6g protein, 583mg sodium
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil, and spray with nonstick spray. This step is very important. If you skip it, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Chop dried strawberries and set aside.
Add pecans to a metal bowl and set aside.
Add the rest of the ingredients to a small sauce pan and cook at medium heat. Allow to simmer for five minutes. The mixture will become thick.
Add the liquid to the pecans and mix. My motherly instincts are surfacing, so hear me when I say: you are working with hot sugar. Do not burn yourself. This is my disclaimer. I will not pay your medical bills if you do.
Add the mixture to the baking sheet and spread out. Bake for 10 minutes. Watch carefully to make sure the mixture doesn’t burn.
Remove from oven and transfer to the metal bowl. Add the strawberries and mix well.
Transfer back to the baking sheet to harden, allowing the pecans and strawberries to form clusters.
Voila, you’ve just made an effing gourmet snack. I’m very proud of you. Enjoy!
Tune in next week for a Cinco De Mayo dip fest! We will be making fresh salsa and guacamole. What’s your favorite chip dip?
Crystal is the founder of Simply Playful Fare. She has been in the kitchen for as long as she can remember. She has a degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing.