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A few things you can do will improve the taste of roasted Brazil nuts. If you roast unshelled Brazil nuts in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for 15 minutes, it makes cracking them easier. If you want to bring out their inherent meatiness and heartiness, roast the Brazil nuts in a dry pan or in the oven after shelling them. Brazil nuts also take on the flavors and aromas of fresh herbs most effectively when they're still hot from roasting. Roast a handful or less of Brazil nuts on the stove, but for larger quantities, use the oven.

Oven Roasting

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Heat the oven to 350 F. Spread the Brazil nuts in an even layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

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Place the nuts in the oven. Roast the nuts for 5 minutes and stir them. Return the nuts to the oven.

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Roast the Brazils for another 5 minutes and slice a couple of them in half to see if they're done. Fully roasted Brazil nuts have a uniform, pale-tan color through the interior.

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Take the Brazil nuts out of the oven and season them to taste with kosher salt while hot. Add fresh herbs at this point, if you wish.

Pan Roasting

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Set a heavy-bottomed skillet on the stove over medium heat. Let the skillet heat for 3 to 4 minutes.

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Add the Brazil nuts to the pan in a even layer. Don't overcrowd the pan, because you need enough space for the nuts to slide in the pan when you turn them.

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Roast the Brazil nuts until a complex, nutty aroma perfumes your kitchen. Turn the nuts using a spatula every minute for even toasting. Test doneness by slicing a nut in half and checking for a uniform pale brown color throughout. Toss the nuts with kosher salt while hot.

Tip

For a floral, piquant flavor infusion, coat the Brazil nuts with a thin layer of olive oil and toss them with a pinch or two of paprika and freshly chopped oregano before roasting.

Warning

If any Brazil nuts have a rancid smell or visible mold, throw them out.

About the Author

A.J. Andrews

A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.