Adding slivered almonds to a dish is an effective way to boost its nutritional value (almonds are high in plant-based protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamin E, magnesium, and other vitamins and minerals). And they're great for adding depth of flavor and lots of fun crunch, too.
Toasting slivered almonds may be an extra step in the meal prep, but it's quick and easy to do in the oven, on the stove or in the microwave. It pays off by enhancing the natural earthy, nutty flavor of the almonds and by making them even crispier. There's plenty to do with them, too; use them on fish, salads, green beans and other veggie sides, pasta dishes, yogurt, cakes and cupcakes, and other preparations.
Toasting Slivered Almonds in the Oven
Because slivered almond pieces are so small and thin and since they have a high oil content, they burn easily. So, a low oven temperature is the way to go; preheat it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
This process is like quickly roasting almonds in the oven. Put the slivers in a bowl and toss them with a light coating of cooking oil or melted butter to help them crisp and brown nicely, and so the flavoring agents adhere. Season them to taste to complement the dish you're using them on. Just a few examples: You can stick to salt, try some cumin, or add something like curry powder or chili powder to give the almonds a little kick. Toasted slivered almonds with sugar or brown sugar works well to add some sweetness.
Spread the seasoned almond slivers in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and put them into the center of the oven. Check them and stir them every 2 minutes, toasting them for about 6 minutes until they're golden brown (cooking time varies by oven and other factors). Remove them from the baking tray right away, so they don't continue cooking and end up burned.
Toasting Slivered Almonds on the Stove
It's simple to prepare a toasted slivered almonds recipe on the stovetop. Melt enough butter in the pan to coat it completely over medium-high heat; then reduce the heat to medium and pour in the almond pieces.
Sprinkle on salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne pepper or other desired seasonings and toss the nuts to coat them. For a sweet preparation, use sugar or brown sugar. For another approach, go with five spice powder, or just some of its components, like cinnamon and nutmeg.
Stir the almond slices frequently for even toasting, sauteing them for about 3 minutes. Keep a close eye on them, as they begin to overcook and burn quickly. Remove them from the pan immediately once they develop an even gold color. If you want to drain off the excess butter, transfer them onto paper towels.
Toasting Slivered Almonds in the Microwave
If you're preparing a relatively small quantity of toasted slivered almonds – up to about 1/2 cup – the microwave is a convenient option. Toss them in a small amount of cooking oil or melted butter, as well as any seasonings you'd like to use. At the very least, add a pinch or two of salt to help bring out their natural flavor.
Spread the nut slivers in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave them on high for 45 seconds; then toss them; spread them back out evenly, and cook them for another 45 seconds. Cooking time varies by microwave and quantity of the slivers, so watch them closely until they develop a nice golden hue. Toss them again and give them additional time in small increments as needed.
Eric Mohrman is a food and drink, lifestyle, and travel writer. He spent 10 years working front- and back-of-house in a few casual and upscale restaurants, adding professional experience to his love of eating and cooking. He lives with his family in Orlando, Florida. His stories on food and beverage topics have appeared in numerous print and web publications, including Visit Florida, Orlando Style Magazine, CrushBrew Magazine, Agent Magazine, Dollar Stretcher Magazine, The 863 Magazine and others.