RECIPE: toasted seeds and nuts
Anyone else a fan of freshly toasted seeds and nuts? It seems I put them on about everything! I find they lend a deep and rich flavor that feels missing in a lot of veg foods, and they add protein, of course. Great on salads, pasta, asian foods, even desserts. If you haven't tried using seeds/nuts, here's some tips:
Here's what I keep on hand:
sesame seeds (unhulled- the brown ones. The pale white ones have no flavor or nutrition.)
almond slivers (particularly good on desserts)
pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas. Get the unhulled green ones- lots more flavor)(these are great on a vinegar/oil pasta/veggie salad)
I find these seeds/nuts taste the best freshly toasted, but if I anticipate being busy, I'll toast some ahead of time and have them on hand that way.
I top my dishes with them, but don't mix them in the food. They lose their crunch and the flavor is dissapated. Every once in a while I mix in sesame seeds, but I'm always disappointed- you'd think I'd learn.
I toast them on top of the stove, although i know others toast them in the oven. I use a wide frying pan and pour in however much I want, but not more than three or so seeds deep. Otherwise it's harder to get them to toast evenly, at least for me.
I heat the burner to med-hi (about 7 on a 1-10). The number one rule of thumb is to keep an eye on them! The toasting doesn't take long, and plan on burning a natch or two the first few times as you learn.
The just let them toast! Turn them every once in a while with a spatula, or put a lid on it and turn them with a flip of the wrist. When most of the seeds/nuts are brown on both sides, they're done. The pumpkin seeds and the sesame seeds will pop, so keep a lid handy.
They make a great snack, too, although it's easy to eat a LOT.