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pine nuts peeled and in the shell. top view

3 Easy Methods to Toast Pine Nuts

Published on January 29, 2022

This small nut of Mediterranean origin, both crunchy and sweet, enhances savoury and sweet dishes with delicacy. Rich in fatty acids, minerals and vitamins, pine nuts are also a real nutritional bomb … to be consumed in moderation!

History and Characteristics

Known for millennia, the pine nut is the fruit of several pines, particularly the umbrella pine, which grows on the shores of the Mediterranean. Surrounded by a hard shell, this small, oblong seed is lodged between the scales of pine cones.

In the Middle Ages, it was appreciated both for its medicinal properties (it was prescribed in particular to fight against coughs) and taste: at the time, it was already a small treat consumed as it is or mixed with almonds and sugar. Later, in the 17th century, it was recommended to young couples to help conception, but also to treat lung diseases!

How to Toast Pine Nuts

You can grill piñon nuts in an oven or pan and snack on them. You can also cook them with or without their shell and easily use an oven or microwave to toast them. Here are three ways to go about toasting pine nuts.

Method 1: Toast shelled pine nuts:

  1. Prepare the pine nuts. Put them in a strainer and sort them. Remove any that have stains.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 ° C.
  3. Put the pine nuts on a baking sheet. Distribute them in an even layer on an oil-free baking sheet. When the oven comes to temperature, place the baking sheet on the top rack and cook the pine nuts for 15 minutes.
  4. Take the baking sheet out of the oven. Leave the pine nuts on and let them cool for 20 minutes. Do not put them in a bowl while they are cooling, as moisture will collect at the bottom and only the gables at the top will cool properly.

Method 2: Toast pine nuts with the shell:

  1. Prepare the pine nuts. Put the unshelled pine nuts in a strainer and rinse them for a minute. Do not dry them.
  2. Preheat the oven to 160 ° C.
  3. Put the pine nuts on a baking sheet. Distribute them on a baking sheet forming an even layer and salt them lightly.
  4. Place the baking sheet in the oven. Once the oven is hot, place the baking sheet on the top rack for 10 minutes. Check whether the pine nuts are cooked after this period. If the shells are not golden, continue cooking. Check the nuts frequently to avoid burning them.
  5. Take the baking sheet out of the oven. Let the pine nuts cool on them for about 20 minutes.
  6. Shell them. Once they have cooled, distribute them on a clean tea towel and cover them with another tea towel. Roll a rolling pin on it while pressing down. Shells will break and you can collect the seeds inside.

Method 3: Cook unshelled pine nuts in the microwave

  1. Prepare the pine nuts. Put them unshelled in a strainer and rinse them for a minute. Do not dry them.
  2. Salt them. Salt the wet pine nuts and put 4 tbsp in a paper bag. Close it by folding the opening twice.
  3. Cook the pine nuts. Place the bag in the microwave and turn the appliance on high power for one minute.
  4. Take out the bag. Let it sit for a minute. The pine nuts will continue to cook during this time.
  5. Take them out. Take them out of the bag and distribute them on a plate. Let them cool for 10 mins.
  6. Shell them. Once the pine nuts have cooled, distribute them on a tea towel and cover them with another tea towel. Roll a rolling pin on it while pressing down. Shells will break and you can collect the grains that are inside.

Advice

  • Buy fresh raw pine nuts. You can store them in a cool, dry place or in the refrigerator for 6 months. Do not leave them in a hot and / or humid place.
  • When cooking pine nuts in the shell, watch them frequently to make sure they are not overcooking. They can burn easily due to their high oil content.

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