How To Get Walnuts Nice And Toasty In The Oven Or On The Stove Top

Toasted walnuts in pan
Toasted walnuts in pan - Cheche22/Getty Images

Nuts are often undervalued for anything beyond snacking, but they make an excellent addition to all sorts of dishes thanks to their ability to add crunch and a hit of rich flavor. If you're new to using nuts in your cooking, walnuts are a wonderful place to start. Walnuts are a superfood loaded with heart-healthy omega-3s and cancer-preventing antioxidants, and also provide a rich, earthy flavor that complements everything from fruit to fish. And toasting them takes that flavor to the next level.

Toasting walnuts is an incredibly simple way to elevate the ingredient, by adding more crunch and nutty aroma to each bite. It also makes them even more palatable, as it brings out some natural sweet notes that raw walnuts don't have. There are a couple of options for toasting: In the oven or on the stovetop. Each method has its benefits and drawbacks, so choose the one that works best for your own personal cooking style.

Read more: 30 Healthy Snack Ideas That Won't Ruin Your Diet

There Are Two Ways To Toast A Nut

pear, rocket, walnut salad
pear, rocket, walnut salad - Julie208/Shutterstock

First up is toasting walnuts on the stovetop, which is generally more energy-efficient than oven-roasting as the stove heats up more quickly and the method takes slightly less time. Start by heating a pan over medium-high heat, then throw in a handful of walnuts. Cook for about 6-7 minutes until the nuts are browned and give off a toasty smell, shaking the pan frequently to prevent over toasting. For batch-toasting a larger number of nuts, oven roasting is the way to go. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, spread the walnuts on a baking sheet in a single layer, and roast for up to 8 minutes until the nuts are a nice toasty brown, stirring them once or twice during baking. With both routes, keep a close eye on your nuts and don't skip the stirring, because over toasting nuts is a huge flavor mistake that turns these natural beauties into bitter bites.

Once your walnuts are toasted, there are any number of ways you can use them to make dishes more delicious. Try a chicken, pear, and walnut chopped salad or pop a few in a walnut broccoli stir-fry, or simply add toasted walnuts to pasta sauce to give it a richer flavor. Alternatively, just enjoy them on their own as a snack. Whatever you choose, it's best to eat them within two weeks after toasting, which is about how long toasted nuts keep when stored at room temperature.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.