You can buy toasted nuts in the store, but it won't be nearly as good as what you can achieve at home (this is true for seeds too). Home cooking can reach new heights of tastiness with a little attention to the details.
Do it in advance: We often toast a whole bunch of nuts and try to use them up over the course of 3-4 days. Which is easy to do, as they're awesome to snack on.
Adding nuts to a dish (especially baked goods) is an easy way to provide complex flavour and a texture treat while boosting the nutritional value of a dish. Toasting raw nuts at home provides a deeper flavour and a better texture, making each mouthful more satisfying.
We find walnuts particularly benefitted from toasting. Raw, they're a bit too bitter for our palette. Toasted, they mellow out quite nicely. The crunchy texture also turns a bit creamy during chewing, providing an extra layer of awesomeness.
Roast Timing Timing is close to the same in the oven method and pan method. This is a great guide but every situation is different depending on you stove, oven and pan.
5 - 6 min for soft seeds and nuts. This includes walnuts, pecans, pistachios, pine nuts and sunflower seeds.
6 - 10 min for dense seeds and nuts. This includes almonds, peanuts, cashews and hazelnuts.
This uses dry, indirect heat letting them toast all the way through without burning the outside.
Set oven to 350ºF
Spread nuts or seeds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
Roast until browned on the outside, making a point of giving them a good shake halfway though.
Roasting on a skillet is quicker, but trickier. You have to give it you full attention - walking away to do something quick could mean a burnt batch.
preheat dry skillet over a medium heat
add nuts/seeds in an single layer
shake frequently until thoroughly toasted
Our Way We use a Brevelle toaster oven. The toast function lets us set how many slices of toast and the desired "darkness". We like this method because after experimenting we've learned how to set it and can walk away without checking on our nuts and have no concern of burning, letting us focus on the other tasks.
Walnuts: Set to toast, 1 slice on a darkness of 3.