I’ve burned many a thing in the kitchen either due to impatience or lack of attention…including my fingers.
And sometimes I forget to account for minor, yet important, details in recipes. Like roasted nuts.
Roasting brings out their flavor, adding new dimension to a recipe which is why it’s a good idea to use roasted nuts when a recipe calls for them. To save time, you could buy pre-roasted nuts, but it often costs more to do so and it can be hard to find certain roasted nuts which are free of added salt and oil. Sooo…that leaves roasting them yourself.
Traditionally, nuts are roasted in the oven. When I’ve used this method, I found that it either took too long (and I was impatient because I forgot I needed to toast them in the first place) or I forgot about them and they burned.
Clearly, a new method was in order.
Ever since I started using the stove top to toast nuts, I’ve been pleased with the results. It’s quick and I’m less apt to forget about something that I can see. The following method is one I’ve used for almonds, pecans and walnuts and it takes less than five minutes. If you try other nuts or seeds (like pine nuts, sunflower or sesame seeds), you might need to adjust the cooking time.
5 steps for toasting nuts
1. Warm a pot over high heat.
2. Add nuts or seeds.
3. For the first minute or two, stir occasionally.
4. Once the nuts are fragrant, stir constantly until they are very fragrant (about another minute).*
5. Remove from heat and continue to stir for 30 second to 1 minute.
*Notes: If you’ve never toasted nuts before, you might want to stir frequently until you can tell (smell 🙂 ) the difference between slightly and very fragrant nuts. Rely on your eyes and nose more so than on the clock as nuts go very quickly from being delicately toasted to decidedly burnt.
Also, a pan with a thinner bottom will toast the nuts faster than a pan with a heavier bottom, such as a cast iron pan. So depending on the pan you use, cooking time may vary slightly.