How to toast nuts and seeds

Giving nuts and seeds a brief baking in the oven really brings out their flavour and gives them a lovely, toasty savouriness.

Preheat the oven to 160oC/325oF/gas 3/fan oven 145oC. Spread the nuts or seeds out on a baking tray and bake until lightly golden. The cooking time depends on the size of the nut: pine nuts, for instance, take about 10 minutes, while walnuts and pecans need about 20. Seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower need only the briefest exposure to the heat so check them after 5 minutes. In any case, keep an eagle eye on all nuts and seeds as they can go from golden to brown and bitter in the blink of an eye. The best way to tell whether they are ready is by the smell, which should be toasty and rich.


Cool before use.

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