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I have a recipe that calls for toasted chopped pistachios. I'm wondering if I should toast them whole and then chop them up, or toast them chopped?

5

I don't think it makes any tremendous difference. I'd probably lean towards toasting them whole first, then chopping just because the size will be more consistent so the toast might be a little more even.

  • 3
    It makes a difference -- you might not develop the flavors as deeply, but you also won't have powder in with the larger chunks that might burn and ruin the dish; I also try to toast then chop, even though it takes longer. – Joe Nov 25 '10 at 12:12
  • Exactly, you can't cut nuts into equal portions (well I suppose you could if you had a lot of time on your hands and some lasers) - they won't cook the same. The only time I put chopped nuts in a pan is when I want to cover them in something (usually sugar-ish in nature). – Tim Post Oct 19 '16 at 18:33
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Toast the nuts evenly first, it will let off the steam in the nut. Then chop them. If they are evenly toasted the toasty flavor & crunch will be present throughout the nut. You will notice the difference in the nut as you eat it. :) I learned this from Christopher Kimball on America's Test Kitchen.

4

I would chop first as then each piece will be toasted on all it's exposed edges. If you toast then chop, the chopping will expose so untoasted edges so the overall effect will be less uniform.

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    +1 You have to use a coarse sieve to remove any chopping dust and fine granules as they will burn easily. These parts can be toasted, but for a shorter time period. This is a common problem for all nuts and seeds being toasted – TFD Nov 25 '10 at 9:37
  • Good tip - I didn't know that! - +1 – Bluebelle Nov 25 '10 at 16:27

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