Almonds Add Flavor and Crunch to Winter Dishes

Winter foods typically mean one thing – comfort. Regardless of climate or geographic location, we crave the root vegetables and braised meats that complement the season and keep us full and warm. Luckily, almonds in all their forms guarantee these dishes taste as indulgent and delicious as the very foods we crave.

Chef Anthony Rose of the Drake Hotel in Toronto, is a pro at using seasonal foods and almonds to create comforting, delicious and unexpected dishes. Rose’s wintry creations take the best of what the season has to offer and adds the distinct crunch and flavor of almonds.

“I love the rich, buttery flavor and crunch of toasted almonds. They make the perfect addition to any dish, whether a starter, main course or even in desserts and cocktails,” Rose says. “Braised dishes and winter salads always benefit from the unrivaled crunch almonds can provide.”

Chef Rose’s winter recipes, such as roasted beets in a tangy mustard-almond vinaigrette and braised pork shoulder with an apple-almond compote, create an entire menu that balances seasonal ingredients with zesty flavors and the crunch of almonds. But it’s his Almond-Crusted Pumpkin Fritters that lend a colorful, festive and crunchy start to any cozy gathering.

Visit for more recipes by Chef Anthony Rose and the Almond Innovator team, Jenny McCoy, pastry chef of Craft in New York City, and Matthew Biancaniello, mixologist of the Library Bar in Los Angeles.

Almond Crusted Pumpkin Fritters

1 pound cooked Kabocha squash (1 small raw)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon crushed chili flakes

1/2 pound cooked russet potato (1 large raw)

1 cup salt

3 tablespoons chopped sage

1 ounce grated parmesan

1 ounce grated cheddar

1 egg yolk

Zest of half a lemon

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups toasted crushed almonds

1 bag micro greens

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Split squash width wise; scrape out seeds. Drizzle each half with olive oil. Sprinkle with chili flakes, a pinch of salt and pepper. Let sit for 20 minutes.

Stab each potato four times around with fork. Line sheet pan with salt; place potatoes on top. Place squash face-down on another parchment-lined sheet pan. Bake squash and potatoes in oven for 1 hour or until soft. Remove from oven. Carefully split open potatoes lengthwise to steam; allow all to cool completely. Discard salt.

When cool, scoop out squash and potato into bowl. Add sage, parmesan, cheddar, egg and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. Combine thoroughly; a chunky texture is fine.

Set up three bowls and one parchment-lined sheet tray. In one bowl, whisk together eggs; place almonds and flour separately in two remaining bowls.

With large spoon or scoop, take about 2 tablespoons of squash mixture and form an oval; dredge in flour, dip in egg and roll in almonds before placing onto sheet pan. Repeat with remaining squash. Refrigerate until ready to fry.

In deep, heavy bottomed pan, heat oil to 300∞F. Carefully pan fry fritters until golden brown, approximately 2-1/2 minutes each side. Remove from oil. Drain on paper towel; sprinkle with pinch of salt. Serve hot on small bed of microgreens with or without sauce.

Source: Almond Board of California