This is a sponsored post. I received Blue Diamond almonds free of charge to use for summer entertaining and to share the outcome with my readers. I was not compensated in any other way for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Summer is the time for get togethers, especially in New England. After the long, hard winter this year, it seems like every weekend (and sometimes in the middle of the week) there is a party to go to. Whenever I go to a party, I try to take a healthy option for myself and to share with my friends, so that I know there’s something I can eat without feeling guilty.
I had the opportunity to make some great dishes for our 4th of July celebration this year using Blue Diamond almonds and I’m so excited to share them with you! I didn’t write down the recipes, so these are just a general guideline. I’ll probably be making both of these dishes again and tweaking them as I go, so I’ll be sure to update you when I do. After all, there’s still plenty of time for summer entertaining!
The first dish I made was garlic scape pesto. When I got garlic scapes in my CSA the week before 4th of July, I didn’t even know what they were. After some helpful Instagram and Facebook followers, many of whom suggested a garlic scape pesto, I knew I wanted it in my arsenal for the 4th.
The first thing I did was pulse some Blue Diamond Whole Natural Almonds in my Ninja (the recipe I used as a general guide suggested pine nuts, but I wanted the flavor of the almonds). After that I chopped my garlic scapes and added them to the blender along with black pepper, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, and parmesan cheese.
I couldn’t help myself and tried it before I took the photo. It was fantastic! The garlic flavor was subtle and strong at the same time. Not overpowering, but certainly there. It had a bit of a bite, making it a great addition for either a dip (which is how I used it most of the night) or as a spread on a sandwich or burger. Success!
I also knew that I wanted to make a protein-based appetizer for the party and decided on Rosemary Black Pepper Turkey Meatballs stuffed with goat cheese and cranberries.
Instead of using flour or oats to help bind the meatballs, I used ground Rosemary Black Pepper Blue Diamond almonds. These I ground up using a pull-string chopper. If you’ve never used one, I highly recommend it (maybe this deserves its own post later).
The flavor in the almonds was enough that I didn’t need to add additional seasoning, so to the almonds I added ground turkey breast and one egg. While I let those set up in the fridge for 15 minutes, I decided the meatballs would be best with some goat cheese stuffed in the middle, so I made some goat cheese balls and put them in the fridge as well (which helped prevent them from melting all over the place out of the meatballs when I cooked them.
At the last minute I decided to add dried cranberries to half of the meatballs (hence the two containers in the photo) when I stuffed them with the goat cheese. After baking them at 350 for about 25 minutes, they were fantastic! The ones with the cranberries were the favorite in my book and next time I may even add some chopped dried cranberries to the meatball mixture itself rather than just stuffing them. I also think they’d be amazing cooked in a crockpot with a little bit of a citrus-based sauce.
I loved that both of these dishes were so easy and had minimal ingredients. The flavor of both the natural almonds and the Rosemary Black Pepper almonds enhanced the flavors already present in the recipes. Both were praised at the party and will be in the rotation for the summer parties to come!
Have you ever added almonds (crushed, whole, chopped, or pulsed) to your recipes?
What is your favorite way to eat almonds?
What is your favorite summer party recipe?