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Pine nuts are staple part of Mediterranean cuisine and many Lebanese dishes. Toasting pine nuts is key get that nutty flavor without any bitterness.
Maybe you have never had a pine nut before. I have and I love them. In fact we use them all the time and I will show you how to toast pine nuts!
What are pine nuts and how are they used?
Pine nuts (aka pignoli) are the edible seeds from a pine tree. The pine nuts that we harvest and eat are native to Europe, Asia and the Middle East. They usually aren’t cheap to buy in the US. I usually get mine at my local Mediterranean grocery store (which I love). They sell 2 different brands, one grown in the country of Lebanon and one grown in China. Now I normally would opt for the one grown in my motherland but there is a very significant price difference. One can hardly tell the difference between the 2, but the one from Lebanon carries a much heftier price tag. Having said that, I normally buy the one from China.
Where to buy Pine Nuts
You could buy them at your local grocer store.
How to use pine nuts in recipes
In what foods are pine nuts used?
They are used in many Lebanese and Mediterranean dishes from Lebanese Chicken and Rice to Lebanese meat pies and even to Kibbeh. Pine nuts are also used in pesto and other Italian dishes, but they MUST be toasted before using them in any dish. They normally come raw, and raw pine nuts have a bitter flavor, but after toasting them they become slightly sweet and very aromatic. They really are delightful, I love eating them plain. Here I am going to show you the easiest way of toasting them.
How to toast Pine Nuts in a pan
I buy them in bulk and toast them all at once, I then freeze them in a jar and pull them out as needed. Grab a skillet and pour your nuts into it. No oil necessary!
Get your skillet out and add the pine nuts in. Put it to medium heat and stir frequently. The pin nuts will begin to brown and give off a fragrant nutty smell. As soon as they are browned, remove them from the heat and let them cool.
How to toast pine nuts in the oven
Some people also like to toast pine nuts in the oven. If you would like to do it that way, preheat the oven to 350 place the pine nuts on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake the pine nuts for about 5 minutes. As soon as the pine nuts become aromatic and you can smell them then you can pull them out of the oven. They should be a rich golden brown color.
How to store pine nuts
After toasting the pine nuts, let them cool completely. Put them in an airtight container or a mason jar and place them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
How To Toast Pine Nuts
- 1 lb Pine Nuts
- Place the pine nuts in a dry skillet. Turn to medium heat and stir frequently for about 8-9 minutes. It will be done when they begin to brown and let off a fragrant nutty aroma
- Remove from heat and let cool
- Store in a jar in the freezer