How to Toast Nuts

It drives me crazy that recipes that call for toasted nuts never tell you how to do this. How do I go about this? -- traceyr2000


Dear Traceyr2000:

Toasting any type of nut from pine nuts to walnuts is simple and adds flavor to the recipe. In fact, since toasted nuts have a stronger flavor, you can use less in a recipe if you are watching fat content or calories. Here's how to do it:

Simply spread the nuts on a baking sheet and either set the toaster oven to toast on medium or bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes until the nuts are golden brown. If using a toaster oven, be sure not to set it to dark as they burn easily. Watch carefully, as different nuts cook at different rates.

One of my favorites in recipes is the pine nut. I always keep a jar in my fridge to jazz up a dish. The pine nut has a light delicate flavor and is used in Mediterranean or Italian salads and pasta dishes. Because of its high fat content, it should be stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to three months. Here's a little background information: Pine nuts come from several varieties of pine trees. They are expensive because getting them from the pine trees is a labor-intensive process. You should be able to find a jar of pine nuts in your grocery store or health food store. They seem to be in different places in each store, so just ask. Enjoy!

Holly Clegg is the author of Meals on the Move: Rush Hour Recipes.

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