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I have a bunch of raw pistachios, in their shells, and I want to roast them and also have them be lightly salted.

I presume I would do this in a conventional oven. I like to roast them a few pounds at a time.

At what temperature and for how long, and what is the best way to lightly salt them?

I have a perforated pizza pan which might be good for roasting them since it would allow air to flow around the pistachios, providing even heat.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

To toast walnuts, pecans, pistachios, macadamias, and other nuts, follow the same procedure as for toasting almonds: spread them in a single layer on a baking pan. Bake at 325F until they are light brown and fragrant, about 5-10 minutes depending on the amount of nuts. Check the nuts frequently and stir them to ensure even toasting. Always cool your nuts before chopping them. Nuts have a great deal of oil that has been brought to surface by the heat, and the oil must be allowed to be reabsorbed, or the nuts could turn greasy during chopping.

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In my limited experience, and I'm roasting these to be eaten whole, I want to let them cool a bit after roasting. When their still hot or too warm, I find that they don't have the crunch either. Letting them cool let's them get to that nice crunchy state. – MarkS Sep 9 '11 at 16:58
If you don't chop them, the same recommendations would seem to fit. Always cool your nuts. (pause will the jr. high audience chuckles) This allows the oils to be 'reabsorbed'. – Cos Callis Sep 9 '11 at 20:00
Oh, absolutely. I wasn't arguing with that point about the oils. Just adding that they seem to get crunchier as they cool a bit. And I'm having a hard time resisting the urge to add additional double entendres to this thread. Let me click Add Comment before I do. – MarkS Sep 10 '11 at 16:24

To get the salty effect you're looking for, soak the pistachios in a brine before roasting.

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That's what I've done in the past, but honestly thought that I might be doing a disservice to the nuts by soaking them in water. But it seemed to be the best way to get salt in and around the nut, with the partially opened shells without putting too much salt on them. Thanks for confirming with your tip. – MarkS Sep 9 '11 at 16:14

The traditional Greek way of roasting pistachios--preferably the delicious and uniquely flavored pistachios from the island of Aegina--is to soak them in a brine where some citric acid (or lemon juice) has been added. In a large bowl I add a pound of pistachios, a cup of water, two teaspoons of salt and one teaspoon of citric acid. Over the course of a day, I periodically stir the nuts in this tangy brine at the bottom of the bowl. The second day I spread them on a baking sheet and let any remaining liquid be absorbed or evaporate. Bake at 350 F for about 12 minutes. Let cool completely before transferring them into a large lidded jar.

This identical recipe may be used for almonds as well. Delicious!

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I don't salt mine, but I saute them in a Stainless Steel pan over medium high heat and stir them or toss them frequently for about 5 minutes until they are browned.

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