How to Salt and Dry Pistachios

pistachio nuts

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A handful of raw pistachios makes a tasty snack, but salting and drying or roasting them really brings out their strong, nutty flavor. Raw pistachios contain moisture, which causes them to go rancid and spoil quickly. Shelling raw pistachios and placing them in a salt brine adds more moisture, but roasting evaporates the excess moisture and leaves behind only the dry nut and salt. This process results in a more flavorful nut that keeps better than the raw, in-shell pistachio.

Fill a small saucepan with 1 cup of water. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, or more to taste, and bring the water to a full boil.

Submerge 2 cups of shelled pistachios in the salty water solution. Return the water to a boil; boil the nuts until the water has evaporated, stirring occasionally so the nuts don't stick to the bottom of the pan. For a lighter salt flavor, dunk the nuts in the solution for 1 or 2 minutes; then drain them in a colander.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit for fully boiled pistachios or to 200 F for dunked and drained pistachios. Spread the nuts out in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Bake the nuts for 10 to 15 minutes at 300 F, or for 15 to 20 minutes at 200 F. Check the nuts to verify they are completely dry. Continue to roast, checking the nuts every 5 minutes until they begin to turn golden.

Remove the pan from the oven and allow the nuts to cool completely. Store them in a sealed container in the pantry or the refrigerator.