These slightly sweet nuts grow in clusters on the hazel tree (genus Corylus
As the nuts ripen, the fuzzy outer husks open to reveal hard, smooth
shells. Hazelnuts are round, with a blunt point and rich brown color.
Depending on the region, hazelnuts also called filberts
. They can be eaten on their own or chopped or ground into a number of sweet desserts as well as savory salads and main dishes.
Hazelnuts are usually sold shelled, though inshell nuts may also be available. Natural hazelnuts have their brown skins intact and are available whole, diced, sliced or ground (meal). With roasted
hazelnuts, the skins are loose or removed. They come whole, diced or
ground, as well as flavored (hickory-smoked, jalapeno, salted).
Other products include hazelnut paste and hazelnut butter,
which are employed in making candy, bakery fillings, icings and sauces. Hazelnut oil, a fragrant oil made
from pressed hazelnuts, adds roasted nut flavor to dressings, sauces, baked goods and
Buy nuts in small amounts from stores that have rapid turnover. When
buying in bulk, choose nuts that are heavy for their size and free of
cracks or holes. Cellophane-packaged nuts are harder to test, but they should appear
plump, crisp and uniform in size and color. Avoid any packages with
nuts that look shriveled or discolored.
Hazelnuts are usually sold whole, but some
markets and specialty stores also carry packages of chopped, sliced,
or ground hazelnuts that will save you the trouble of peeling (see
Because nuts are high in fat (unsaturated)
must be stored properly to keep them
from turning rancid. Store shelled hazelnuts in an airtight bag or
container in the freezer and they'll stay fresh and flavorful for up to
one year. The refrigerator is the next best place.
Natural hazelnuts have bitter brown skins that should be removed before using.
For easy peeling, bake the nuts in a preheated 350ºF oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the skins
begin to flake. Then place the nuts (a handful at a time) in a dish
towel, fold over and rub vigorously until most of the skin is removed.
• To roast natural hazelnuts, place the shelled nuts in a single layer
on a cookie sheet. Toast in a 275ºF oven for 20 to 30 minutes until the
skins crack and the nuts turn a light golden color.
• Let frozen, refrigerated or toasted nuts come to room temperature before adding to recipes.
• Rancid nuts will ruin any food they flavor. Give them a taste-test before using.
• Toss chopped hazelnuts with romaine
• Shape soft, spreadable cheeses into logs or balls and roll in chopped hazelnuts.
• Add chopped hazelnuts to stuffed mushrooms
• Process hazelnuts into your homemade
View BigOven's hazelnut recipes