A major benefit of cooking almonds on the stovetop is that when you immerse nuts in oil and cook them at a long, low simmer (essentially making a nut confit), you end up with a deeper flavor—as if the nuts had been roasted, but with an added layer of succulence from the oil.
This is because when you roast nuts in the oven, you lose oils and moisture in exchange for some crispiness. The oil method is a great way to get that roasted flavor while keeping a rich, tender texture. The technique requires just one job: keeping a watchful eye on the heat to maintain the oil at a very low simmer.
Fragrant, nut-infused oil, a bonus by-product of the confit process, is delicious in salad dressing or as a finishing oil over chicken and fish. Use the nuts and the oil to make pesto, or serve them warm with a sprinkle of salt as a simple cocktail snack (think Marcona almonds).
How to Make It
Combine olive oil and almonds in a small saucepan over medium-low; cook until nuts are toasted and light brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Store almonds in oil in an airtight container up to 1 month in refrigerator. Drain before using; reserve oil to use in dressings, if desired.