Toasted almonds. Photo courtesy California Almond Board.
Updated June 2012
How To Toast Nuts
It’s Easy, In The Oven Or On The Stovetop
Numerous green salad and fruit salad recipes and sides dishes call for toasted nuts. Toasting takes the bite out of walnuts, and adds mellow dimensions of flavor to all nuts. Toasting can also bring life back to nuts that are old and soft.
You can add them to pastas, rice, vegetable dishes, soups and as plate garnishes. They’re a delicious addition to French toast, pancakes and waffles.
- Always toast whole nuts or halves first, then chop into smaller pieces if desired.
- It’s best to toast them as close to serving as possible—fresh-toasted nuts have a wonderful aroma and if warm, are even more wonderful. However, toasted nuts can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 1 to 2 weeks.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Place nuts in a single layer in an ungreased shallow pan or a rimmed baking sheet such as a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. A baking sheet without sides is not recommended, as it’s easy to tip the sheet when removing it from the oven, and the nuts will end up on the floor.
- Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until the nuts are golden brown. Shake the pan during toasting to even the browning. Then remove from pan to cool.
- Like all cooked foods, nuts will continue to cook when removed from the oven, so don’t over-toast—err on the side of under-toasting.
Stove-top toasting works well for a small amount of nuts. It doesn’t toast as evenly as the oven method because the heat isn’t as even: the nut surface touching the skillet becomes darker in color. But, it works fine for most purposes.
- Preheat a dry, heavy skillet over medium heat.
- Add the nuts and toast for 1 to 2 minutes, or until they’re golden brown and give off a rich, toasty fragrance.
- Stir or toss walnuts constantly for even toasting—it’s easy to burn the nuts in pan-toasting.
- Remove from pan to cool.
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