Elizabeth Nolan Brown // Blog

media. music. feminism. food. city-dwelling. story-telling. and other things.

Recipe: Roasted Chestnuts

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Don’t worry—while chestnuts roasting on an open fire might be romantic, your oven will do the job just fine. I first oven-roasted chestnuts two Novembers ago, to bring as a side dish for a Thanksgiving potluck. They were so delicious—rich, nutty, savory—I wondered why I’d never considered the nuts before. Though chestnuts are hard-shelled when raw, they take on a soft, potato-like texture when roasted that makes them ideal mashing, using in stuffing, or turning into breads, soups and deserts. But the plain roasted nuts make a good snack or side all by themselves, too.

Chestnut nutrition: Though chestnuts are high in starch, they’re less fat- and calorie-heavy than many other nuts, such as walnuts or almonds. They’re the only nut that contains vitamin C, and also a good source of fiber, protein, mono-unsaturated fatty acids, B-complex vitamins (niacin, thiamine, riboflavin) and minerals (such as iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium). For more on chestnuts’ nutrition profile, see here.

To roast chestnuts: Start with one pound of fresh, unpeeled chestnuts.

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Using a small, sharp knife, cut an X across the curved side of each chestnut. The X should be span the entire side of the nut—this keeps the nuts from exploding while cooking, and makes it easier to peel them later. [I cannot stress enough how important this is: If you don’t make the slits big enough, or don’t allow the nuts to roast long enough to get soft, peeling them later will be painful and difficult; but if you make big enough incisions and roast long enough, you shouldn’t have problems.]

3. Spread chestnuts X-side up on a large baking sheet. Cook for 30-40 minutes.

4. Let chestnuts cool slightly—they’re best served hot, but you want them to cool enough so you can handle them. Once cooled, peel back the outer skin of the nut and enjoy!

Photo: BBC

Originally published on Blisstree.com.

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Written by Elizabeth

December 12, 2011 at 9:59 pm

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