Servings: 6 as garnish
Note: In the homes of Jews from North Africa, this mixture of browned onions, dried fruit and fried almonds is popular for festive occasions as a garnish for couscous or rice. You can blanch the almonds yourself or buy them from a nut shop.
3/4 cup almonds, preferably blanched (skins removed)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil such as grapeseed or canola
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions (about 1½ pounds), quartered, sliced thin
Salt to taste
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch ground cinnamon
1 cup moist pitted prunes
1/4 cup broth or water
1. To blanch almonds, add them to a pan of boiling water to cover and boil for 10 seconds. Transfer the almonds to a bowl with a slotted spoon, reserving hot water. When they almonds are just cool enough to handle, press the end of each almond to remove it from its skin; return any stubborn ones to the hot water for another 10 seconds, remove and peel. Dry the peeled almonds thoroughly on paper towels before sautéing.
2. Heat the vegetable oil in a sauté pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the almonds and sauté, tossing often with a slotted spatula, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the almonds to paper towels and sprinkle them lightly with one-eighth teaspoon salt, or to taste.
3. Heat the olive oil in the sauté pan over medium heat, add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook for 10 minutes. Cover and cook, stirring often, until tender and golden brown, about 15 minutes.
4. Add the raisins, dried cranberries, sugar and cinnamon. Cover and cook over low heat until the dried fruit is softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a shallow serving bowl.
5. Add the prunes and broth to pan. Cover and cook over low heat until the prunes are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the prunes and any liquid remaining in the pan to the bowl of dried fruit.
6. Serve the dried fruit with the almonds.
Each serving: 334 calories; 6 grams protein; 50 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams fiber; 15 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 31 grams sugar; 58 mg sodium.