Chestnuts

Strong flavors evoke strong memories. When I eat Chestnuts it reminds me of when I was a kid picking up the urchin-like, prickly husks from underneath my Grandpa’s Chestnut tree behind their big barn. I’d separate the dark brown smooth-shell nuts from their lawn-mower-destroying outer layer. I think Grandpa paid me a few Quarters per bucket (that or with an ice cream cone). Then my mind drifts to sitting at the “kids table” on Thanksgiving Day for a wonderful family feast and eating a few bites of my Grandma’s Chestnut Bread Filling. Good memories.

Create some memories this holiday season by serving dishes or dessert that feature Chestnuts. Their rich, earthy and mildly sweet taste combined with their waxy texture is a truly seasonal eating experience. Add Roasted Chestnuts to your Turkey Stuffing, Bread Filling, Green Bean dishes, Brussels Sprouts, an old world dessert or serve them on their own.

Their rich, earthy and mildly sweet taste combined with their waxy texture is a truly seasonal eating experience.

How To Roast Chestnuts

Chestnuts must be roasted or steamed, and then peeled before eating or using in a recipe.

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Score the flat side of the Chestnuts with a knife in an X pattern (this will prevent the Chestnuts from exploding as they steam themselves)
  3. Roast the Chestnuts on a baking tray for 30-40 minutes, until the scores opens
  4. Place the cooked Chestnuts in a wet dish towel for 4-6 minutes to make them easier to peel
  5. Peel the outer shell off and the inner skin.  Now your Chestnuts are ready for use in recipes.
  6. Bonus Tip: Does all of roasting and peeling sound like more than you’re ready to tackle? Look for cryovac packs of Steamed Chestnuts in the produce department which taste better than the canned ones and are recipe ready.