Save time and hassle with this nut-toasting techniqueApril 17, 2021 by Darcie
I used to cringe whenever I saw a recipe that called for toasted nuts, having flashbacks to all of the blackened-beyond-hope nuts I had to throw in the trash. Too many times I forgot about the nuts in the oven or I turned my back on a hot skillet, and in both scenarios I ended up with scorched almonds, pecans, walnuts, or pistachios. My famous last words were “I won’t get distracted this time!” Rather than risk ruining the nuts I often skipped the toasting step, which meant that I sacrificed flavor.
This all changed last year when I discovered that you can use the microwave to toast nuts perfectly every time. Not only did it not burn them, the microwave technique was easier and faster as well. I know plenty of cooks who snub microwaves, but you will not find me among that group. I use it for a variety of tasks including melting chocolate, heating cream to a boil, and making rice (gasp!), among other things. The advantages of the microwave include speed and ease of use. Plus, the appliance turns off after the specified time, so even if I forget something all I will get is an annoying reminder beep instead of flaming ingredients.
Over at Food & Wine, Justin Chapple provides a video demonstration of microwave nut toasting, which takes a mere three minutes. Chapple has more microwave tips to explore, including how to dry herbs and make brown butter as a foolproof alternative to the traditional skillet method.
Photo of Wine bar nut mix from Food & Wine by Carolyn Wente and Kimball Jones
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