These ingredients exhibit grace (and taste!) under fire.

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toasted nuts

SPICES
 We love their flavor and aroma straight out of the bottle, but toasting spices intensifies their character.
 How to: Toast them in a dry skillet over low heat.

NUTS
 Toasting walnuts, pecans and cashews makes them crunchier, deepens their color and shakes off any staleness.
 How to: Scatter on a baking sheet and place in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes.

BREAD CRUMBS
 Morph these into a crisp croutonlike topping for fresh summer salads, roasted vegetables and baked pastas.
 How to: Scatter on a baking sheet and place in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes.