Why should you roast hazelnuts? Three words: Chocolate Hazelnut Spread.
Roasting nuts brings out their toasty, nutty flavors more than eating them raw. I tend to roast (or toast, depending on your point of view) both nuts and seeds for most recipes, even if the recipe doesn't specifically suggest it. You can do this in a dry skillet, toaster oven, or regular oven for fast, easy results. Keep an eye on them; they burn quickly!
Hazelnuts are one of the most important nuts to roast because it helps remove their skin. The skin is edible, but you typically don't want papery skin to interfere with the texture of the dish you're making, so it's best to remove it before adding the nuts to most recipes. Roasting them loosens the skin, so all you have to do is roll them around in a dishtowel. The skin comes right off! (See the video at the end of this post to learn more.)
Hazelnuts have a truly distinctive flavor and character of their own that shines through in both sweet and savory dishes. They pair especially well with chocolate... but you already knew that.
Here are 5 more reasons why you should be roasting hazelnuts: