Pistachio nuts in a glass bowl

Pistachios are considered to be a healthy food. Although there's little argument that they are healthiest when consumed salt-free, many want salt on them. Manufacturers that produce pistachio nuts in quantity salt them by boiling the pistachios in a salt brine. You can duplicate this process on your own, starting with raw pistachios, or you can follow a simpler and faster method.

Paper Bag Method

Place about 2 cups shell-free pistachio kernels in a medium-sized paper bag. The bag should be large enough that the nuts have plenty of room to move around.

Add 1 tbsp. salt to the paper bag, or increase or decrease this amount according to your own preference.

Roll the top of the paper bag down several times to seal it shut. There should still be enough room for the nuts to move around freely in the bag.

Shake the bag vigorously for about 30 seconds; this distributes the salt evenly among the kernels. Some of the salt will stick, but not all. Either pour out the leftover salt in the bottom of the bag and save it for later use, or scoop out the pistachios and add more pistachios to be salted.

Boiling Method

Place the pistachios in a pot. The pistachios should take up no more than half of it. You can salt pistachios still in the shell by boiling or salt the pistachio kernels alone.

Add water until the water level is 3 inches above the level of the pistachios.

Add salt to the water--about 1/2 cup if you're using a 4-quart pot, 1/4 cup for a 2-quart pot, and so on.

Bring the water-salt-pistachio mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.

Drain the pistachios and spread them on paper towels to dry completely before storing them.