Pecans are brown-skinned, crinkly nuts with a distinctive sweet, rich flavor and a crisp, slightly crumbly texture. They are sold whole (in the shell or shelled) and in halves or pieces.
To toast pecans:
Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and place in a preheated 325°F (165°C) oven. Toast, shaking the sheet occasionally, until the nuts just begin to change color and are fragrant, 5-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.To chop pecans: Spread the pecans on a work surface and, using a chef's knife, chop with a rocking motion. Or, chop the nuts in a food processor fitted with the metal blade; do not overprocess or the nuts will turn into a paste.For other nut varieties, see almonds, Brazil nuts, candlenuts, cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts.