• Roasted on the left, raw on the right. (Camellia Aebischer)Source: Camellia Aebischer
Never burn another pan of pine nuts again! Just zap them in the microwave and watch them brown all the way through.
Camellia Ling Aebischer

30 Oct 2020 - 9:03 AM  UPDATED 30 Oct 2020 - 9:03 AM

After a conversation with a friend about the weird stuff we’ve tried to microwave (once I tried dried pasta which puffed a little but burned quickly), I thought ‘What if I could get that browning on a nut… in the microwave…?”. After all, there was some leftover from making cashew cream while you sleep.

After a quick Google, suspicions were confirmed, and by no other than Harold McGee, Kenji Lopez-Alt and a handful of other bloggers.

I rushed to try it and within the hour our household had polished off two packets of once-raw nuts tossed in olive oil and salt.

Before trying this there are two things to note: you’ll need a shallow microwave-safe plate or bowl, and a tea towel or oven mitts as the bowl will get really hot. Don't pick it up with bare hands.

Raw nuts before they take a trip back to the 80s.

How to roast nuts in the microwave

Take your nut of choice, spread it out into an even layer on a plate. Microwave on high in 1-minute intervals, checking each time (using a tea towel or oven mitt), for anywhere between 3-8 minutes depending on the nut.

Once they’re done they’ll be screaming hot and not at their full crunch potential. Let them cool completely to enjoy the fruits of your minimal labour.

This will work with any variety, chopped or whole and works well to refresh previously-roasted nuts that have gone a bit soft.

Below are rough timeframes for the nuts I tried at home, but every microwave is different. The good part is, once you know your nut and your appliance you can pretty much just put them in for the full length of time and let them go.

Cashews: 2-3 minutes

Pine nuts: 5-6 minutes

Almonds: 7-8 minutes

Be warned, they can burn!

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