Toasting Nuts-How To

I assume sometimes that everyone knows how to toast nuts, but you know what happens when you ass-u-me, right? Well, I came across a short blip in a cookbook and it had a blurb about toasting nuts and since I make a lot of my recipes with toasted nuts I thought I would write a short piece about it. I actually learned something new myself. I did not know that you can actually toast nuts in a microwave. Say what?! I know, right? Purists will scoff a bit with this one. I mean, “serious cooks aren’t supposed to be using a microwave”. Yeah-whatever…Well it made me think about the time I was in pastry school. The school didn’t even have a microwave on the premises. I thought it was kind of overboard; especially since we were fed by the remains of the day students from the culinary school. We always had to warm up our food by using the oven only. Anyway…I digress. My point is why should it be a crime to use the microwave if you want. This might be esp. handy since we are coming up on Thanksgiving and a lot of times there is NO oven room or stove top room left.

How To Toast Nuts 3 ways

Oven: Spread the nuts in a shallow baking pan (pie plate, 1/4 sheet pan, tart pan etc.) and bake in a 350° F (180° C) oven for 5-10 minutes. Open the oven and shake the nuts gently once or twice and WATCH them as this is not an exact science. Check often to make sure they don’t over brown.

Stove Top: (This is best for small nuts or those that are chopped). Toast chopped or ground nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat. Stir often so they don’t burn. Remove from the skillet immediately to stop the cooking process. Note; this is usually how I toast pine nuts if you have a recipe that calls for toasted pine nuts as they tend to go really fast and the stove top method you can watch them more closely.

Microwave: Spread a single layer of nuts on a microwave safe plate. Cook on 100 % power (high) at 1 minute intervals until nuts have a crisp crunch, toasted flavor and become fragrant. The amount of time varies, so watch and check closely.

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