Butter-toasted Hazelnuts Recipe

One of my favorite party-friendly ways to use hazelnuts. This butter-toasted hazelnut recipe uses toasted butter, fresh tyme and lemon and orange zest to add a simple yet sophisticated twist to a nut bowl.

Butter-toasted Hazelnuts

2007 was the year I fell for hazelnuts in a big way. Pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts make regular appearances in my recipes, but all took a back seat to the auburn-skinned hazelnut when the cold weather set in. I threw together this butter-toasted hazelnut recipe as a quick snack one night before a few friends came over, I've since gone on to use hazelnuts (in excess!) all season. The hazelnuts are roasted for a short time, then finished in a big skillet with fresh thyme, citrus zest, a bit of salt, and a touch of brown butter.

Many people rub the skins off hazelnuts - not me. A bowl brimming with the puggish nuts has a lovely rustic quality when the skins are left intact. Without their skins hazelnuts look naked.

A note on the hazelnuts (also called filberts) you see above and below - notice their shape, sort of like plump almonds. Don't let that throw you, I came across these hazelnuts at Whole Foods Market the other day - they are simply pointed hazelnuts. For this recipe you can use any type of unskinned hazelnut, but I think I actually prefer the flavor of the round hazelnuts best.

Butter-toasted Hazelnut Recipe

I've been using any leftover nuts sprinkled over salad, in grain-based bowls, and even crushed as a crusting component.

Happy New Year to everyone. I'll add to that a heartfelt THANK YOU for all your encouragement, insight, and participation here. I'm very much looking forward to another year on 101 Cookbooks. I realize how fortunate I am to have such a fantastic forum here to explore ideas and ever-changing inspirations. I encourage you to let me know what you'd like to see more of on the site in the coming year - for January I'm definitely going to focus on some of my favorite quick and healthy meals. I also have a couple surprises up my sleeve...

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Butter-toasted Hazelnut Recipe

You can use any shaped hazelnut, I actually prefer the round ones to the pointed ones pictured here. Also, a little tip regarding the thyme. An easy way to remove thyme leaves from their stems is to pinch the stem at the top and then run your fingers down going against the direction the leaves grow - stripping them off the stem.

3 cups unskinned hazelnuts
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon fine ground sea salt
1 tablespoon thyme leaves, fresh
zest of 1/2 orange
zest of one lemon

Place the hazelnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in a 375F degree oven for about 15 minutes or until the nuts become fragrant, their skins darken, and some skins begin to split a bit. Remove from the oven.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat warm the butter. You want the butter to get toasted and fragrant, this takes a minute or so. If you can see any of the little frothy-looking butter solids in the pan, they should start to turn golden. Stir in the salt, and now add the hazelnuts. Stir to get the nuts coasted in butter, and stir in the thyme - it might pop and hiss a bit - that's o.k. Saute for about a minute and then finish with the orange and lemon zests, save a bit of the zest for garnish if you like. Remove the nuts from heat, and when they've cooled a bit, taste to see if you need to add more salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes three cups.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Looks tasty and really easy to make :)


Here's a couple of fun facts. Those oblong hazelnuts are a particular varietal known as Duchilly. As opposed to the round ones, known as Barcelona. Both are domestic US grown varieties. The filberts that you find in Europe, particularly Germany, are smaller and more condensed/compact/harder than the domestic Barcelona. The European nuts tend to have a stronger, more concentrated flavor. The next most flavorful is the Barcelona. The Duchilly's tend to have a much lighter hazelnut flavor. Growers in Oregon and Washington tend to use the Duchilly's as pollinators in their orchards. They seem to have found a market for them over the last 10 years.

Nut Lady

Where do we find hazelnuts again? I had some delicious dishes while in Germany a couple of summers ago - but simply can't find them.


Love your site keep a close watch all year. just came on to get scone recipe but hazelnuts caught my eye. Have you tried marzipan with hazelnuts instead of almonds? It is just delicious! Love and good energy for the new year to you Heidi and every one who reads this.

Heidi A-P

wow... these nuts sounds good! i looovvvee eating nuts when watching tv because they are a good alternative to potatoe chips thanx i'll have to try this


This sounds so tantalizing and simple, the perfect antidote to rich holiday food!

Deborah Dowd

I would like to try this - sounds delish. Question - do you know how long they will keep (if they will) and how to store? I visit your site often - keeps me cooking.


Hazelnuts and brown butter? These sound wonderful!


A toast to the hazelnut! I bought a kilo this autumn and have been using them many dishes such as rocket (arugula) and hazelnut pesto, biscotti, nutella brownies and just toasted and eaten. I love them and this is a simple and great looking recipe. Thanks! A toast to you too! Happy New Year!


Oh! This makes me happy. When I was a little girl at Thanksgiving, all my great-aunts would sit in a circle together and painstakingly hand-shuck (is that the right word?) all the hazelnuts for their special stuffing recipe. None of them spoke English, but would murmur quietly to each other in Greek. I was totally fascinated by it, so I love love love this recipe. Thank you so much!


yum yum i love The Nuts , Happy New Year ,


As I share your love for hazelnuts, I am more than happy that you focussed on them in 2007. I haven't tried anything with fresh hazelnuts yet, just falvoring and nutella, which is my favorite secret ingredient:) Wish you a happy and healthy 2008 Heidi!!


Cheers from another filbert fan! What I love about your site is your respect for and excitement about ingredients - and so I especially appreciate recipes with very few well-chosen components that thrive without fuss. And since I have a new baby (named Heidi, coincidentally) the fewer steps the better...


If you love Hazelnuts, bake Marcella Hazan's walnut torte from The Classic Italian Cookbook, using hazelnuts. It's just intensely delicious.


I happened across your site several months ago and love it. I have tried quite a few recipes--all wonderful. My husband and I absolutely loved the farro & roasted butternut squash. I would appreciate more recipes like that that use whole grains.


I too have fallen head-over-heels for hazelnuts - and hazelnut-butter!!! simply divine!! happy belated new year, Heidi!!


Wow those nuts sound amazing, I can almost taste them. This recipes been added to my 'must try' pile.


Wow those nuts sound amazing, I can almost taste them. This recipes been added to my 'must try' pile.


Happy New Year Heidi! Those hazelnuts look so yummy I wish that I could just pluck a couple of them out of the photo! I will definitely try this recipe... including the skins which I've never tried before. Thank you for an easy and delicious snack to add to my recipe box!


heidi - i swear i fall deeper and deeper in love with your site and your photography every time i visit. i've been using it a lot lately. these hazelnuts look so savory. i actually have a bag of raw hazelnuts sitting in my kitchen this very moment. thanks for the recipe!


oh yum yum -- i love hazlenuts! more so than any other kinds of nuts. can't wait to try this!


I am allergic to hazelnuts. But not other kinds of nuts. Is that unusual? I wonder if it depends on the quality of the nuts, or on how they are served. I'm hesitant to try them...but I'm sure this recipe would be perfectly lovely with almonds instead?


Happy new year~ Heidi! hope you happy everyday!

YOYO Cooking

Happy new year~ Heidi! hope you happy everyday!

YOYO Cooking

Happy new year~ Heidi! hope you happy everyday!

YOYO Cooking

Happy new year~ Heidi! hope you happy everyday!

YOYO Cooking

When we were small children my brother and I sometimes "helped" my mother bake by cracking the shells of filberts and extracting the nuts. As a reward she let us eat some of these delicious morsels accompanied by a (small) glass of sweet red wine! She was a very liberal mother! and we loved her very much! Happy 2008 Heidi and all! Gilda92 in Canada


I think you're onto something with the hazelnuts, Heidi. Beautiful! I agree with you on leaving the skins on. They look honorable and proud, instead of humiliated and wimpy. I would like to see more simple one-dish meals, preferably with five or fewer ingredients, not counting spices or liquids, using ready-to-hand ingredients. Even though I cook in a more complicated fashion often, it is the simple recipes with three to five ingredients that save the day. I just want them to taste like I've slaved over the stove for a good while, you understand. :) Thankfully, I do have a nice collection of such recipes, and there are books out there specializing in such recipes, but I'll bet recipes you offered would be off-the-charts delicious, not to mention beautiful. Have a healthy and blessed year. Rachel, Israel


Happy New Year to you, too! My sister and I have both your cookbooks and we've loved, these past few years, to compare our experiences with your recipes and recommend our favorites. Yeah, I like your idea of the quick recipes. Quick dinner recipes specifically, since it always seems hard to make something nice and quick after a long days work. I'm also very interested in oils - how to cook with them properly. This is something that you brought up in your book (coconut oils, clarified butters) which I thought was really interesting. I now regularly make clarified butter at home and it certainly does raise the smoking point. Thank you for your wonderful site!


Happy new year to you, Heidi! Thanks for sharing those fantastic recipes during this year... My dialy cooking has certainly been influenced by your inspiring writing and photograph, I feel I'm a more creative vegetarian cook! Your recipes using alternative whole grains are great... I'd love to learn new ways of preparing veggies, like the Golden Crusted Brussels Sprouts Recipe. Maybe a twist on classic vegetable based dishes like Ratatouille or Panzanella... Just some ideas for the upcoming seasons. As a recent 16-years old vegetarian, I thank you again for all the time and effort you have put in this blog. Sorry if my english isn't perfect, spanish is my mother language ;-) Hugs and best wishes for 2008, -Julieta


Thanks for a delicious 2007! I love to have vegetarian recipes that I can adapt for a single person.


Happy New Year Heidi! I love them too! Easy to toast in microwave, we don't turn on the oven that much in S.Florida...spray with oil lightly on a plate or even a paper-plate on high for about 1 min., or more if you are doing a bunch(watch-out no more than 2 min.)shake or stir till you smell 'em then cool. Try using them when baking chocolate merengues, stir in lots of nuts, you will love these!


I love this recipe! I have all these leftover nuts (doesn't everyone?) from Christmas and have been ardently looking for something to do with them. Most of all, I love that you gave us something festive for January. This is (almost) as good as roasted chestnuts in NYC - I'm in the mood again. -Liz


Well, I'm glad to hear your heretical thoughts on NOT rubbing them vigorously with a tea towel after blanching them. I've found this leaves them neither crisp nor flavorful; more cottony, as a matter of fact. Happy New Year! I'm enjoying reading your cookbook Super Natural Cooking as well as your blog.


Dear Heidi, Your beautiful photos and mouthwatering recipes are inspiring me for a few months now (since I've discovered this site ☺). Thanks a lot for all the thought you are putting in each and every post! Happy New Year!! Ya'ara, Israel


Oh, my -- brown butter? This is in no way a bad thing. Thanks for sharing your healthy recipes and gorgeous photos with us over the past year, Heidi. Happy 2008!

minimally invasive

I adore hazelnuts and have cooked often with them, inspired by many of your recipes. I actually do a mixed nut recipe with hazelnuts, brazil nuts, cashews and walnuts - with rosemary and brown sugar. My vegan friend loved it so much, she's doing it with soy nut butter. Thanks for all the great recipes. Happy 2008!


I love hazlenuts as well but rarely eat them cos I can't find them locally sourced. Maybe I should move up to Oregon? Happy New Year Heidi!


I can only imagine how wonderful that must smell, especially with the thyme! Cheers and Happy 2008!


I too love hazelnuts, but have yet to make them this way-yay! The best ones I have had are the organic ones from Trufflebert farms in Oregon. Happy New Year!


These nuts sound lovely Heidi - just the job for a gentle weaning from mince pies back onto normal food... Thanks for all of your inspiring recipes over the last year! It is always the "big bowl" type recipes like the quinoa and grilled zucchini recipes that draw me in so it would be great to see more of those. Cakes and baked lovelies are great but I'm a firm believer that it is the recipes that you can make for dinner week in and week out that are worth their weight in gold!


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