Toasting Slivered Almonds Brings Out Their Natural Sweetness and Adds Crunch
Nuts are a healthy addition to any diet, whether you are watching your weight or simply looking for more natural snack options. Almonds are high in omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats, and their mild, distinctive flavor is equally at home in salads and on top of desserts. Toasting slivered almonds brings out the depth of their naturally sweet flavor and adds a delicate crispness to their soft texture.
Coat the bottom of a frying pan with a thin layer of olive oil. You can add a pat of butter for extra flavor if you like. Turn the heat to medium, and heat the oil until it begins to shimmer and you can clearly smell it.
Add just enough slivered almonds to fill the bottom of the skillet in a single layer. Stir them with a wooden spoon until they are thoroughly coated with the hot oil. Season them with kosher salt.
Cook the coated almond slivers, stirring them frequently, until they have turned a light golden brown. Watch them closely as they start to brown, because they will go from toasted to scorched in a matter of seconds.
Heat the oven to 350F.
Place your slivered almonds on a baking sheet in a single layer. You can oil the sheet or toss the almond slivers in oil before baking, but it works just as well to toast almond slivers dry, which adds no extra calories.
Set the almonds in the hot oven on the center rack. Toast them for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring them or gently shaking the pan every so often. Watch the almonds closely near the end of the cooking time, because they scorch very quickly.
Remove the toasted almonds from the oven and pour them onto a platter or into a bowl to cool. Leaving them on the hot baking tray will continue to toast them, and you don't want them to burn.
Place your slivered almonds in a shallow microwave-safe dish. Add 1/2 tablespoon or so of oil and a pat of butter for every 1/2 cup of almonds. The measurements don't have to be exact.
Stir the almond slivers to thoroughly coat them.
Microwave on High for 1 minute.
Stir the almonds and microwave them on High for 1 more minute. Repeat, watching them closely, until the slivers turn a light golden brown.
Coat your slivered almonds in a bit of sugar and a generous amount of cracked black pepper for a sweet and slightly spicy flavor perfect for snacking. Or use chili powder and garlic salt for a more savory treat.