Pine nuts are the edible seeds of the pine tree, and are found inside their cones. Though they can be used in raw form, toasted pine nuts are preferred for their rich nutty flavor. They can be used in recipes, like hummus, pesto sauce, etc. You may toast these nuts on stove top, or in the oven, or in a microwave.
On Stove Top
Take the required amount of pine nuts in a skillet or a dry non stick pan. Place the pan on the stove top, over medium heat. There is no need to add oil or cooking spray. If you want to toast pine nuts for preparing hummus, then you may add some olive oil. Stir the nuts continuously, so as to prevent uneven toasting. As the nuts start turning brown, remove them from heat. Your toasted pine nuts are ready for use.
In the Oven
Take a cookie sheet or a cake pan with rim. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spread the pine nuts on the cookie sheet, in a single layer. Bake for five minutes, and remove from the oven. Shake the cookie sheet, so that the nuts get rearranged. Return the cookie sheet to the oven, and bake for another five minutes, or till the nuts turn golden brown.
Put the pine nuts in a paper bag. Close the paper bag, and place it in the microwave. Cook the nuts in medium heat for a minute or two, and remove the bag from the microwave. Your toasted pine nuts are ready. You may also store the toasted nuts in air tight containers. Even unshelled nuts can be toasted in a microwave. Rinse the nuts and sprinkle salt over them. Put them in a paper bag, and place it in the microwave. Cook on high for a minute. Let them cool well, before you remove the shells. Place the nuts on a clean dish towel and press them with a rolling pin, so that the nuts can be separated from the shells.
Even unshelled pine nuts can be toasted in an oven. Wash the nuts and spread them on a cookie sheet, in a single layer. Place the cookie sheet on the upper rack of the oven that is preheated to 350° F. Bake the nuts for around 15 minutes. Don't forget to stir them in between, so as to ensure even toasting. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven, and let the nuts cool for 10 minutes.