Roasted Chestnuts

Arriving home after a week’s vacation in the snow, through the mountains and around three states obviously means that I was needing some super food to get back to the home sweet home routine. Reinvigorated, ready for other kind of adventures in my own surroundings and I had to be surprised with this!

Chestnuts! Beautiful brown sweet chestnuts. I remember when I used to find many chestnuts still in its bur on the ground around the trees at my grandparents house. The chestnut trees were aligned in one part of the property and when I was little I ran through that line of trees jumping around those spiny husks full of the precious nuts. It was normally around the time of harvest and for some reason wine and chestnuts are the perfect pair. It is also traditional to eat roasted chestnuts and taste the new wine on St. Martin’s Day. An old proverb says, in St. Martin’s day, fire, chestnuts and wine. It’s right, there’s nothing  better for cold days, especially when it’s raining outside and we’re cozy at home.

Even though the idea of chestnuts and red wine seemed already pretty good by itself, we had a full meal with salmon and roasted vegetables combined with the first two items.

Something like this,

paired with this Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile.

Nevertheless I would prefer some Portuguese wine. I don’t know why such goodness is so rare in the stores around here.

Anyway, the queen of this story is the chestnut. The beginning and the end of it. Did you know that from all the nuts, the chestnut is the only one that contain vitamin C? It also has very little fat and no gluten!

Roasted Chestnuts

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Serves 4

3 lbs chestnuts

salt

Preheat oven to 425 F. Wash the chestnuts and, with a sharp knife, make an X cut on each one of them (that will make it easy to cook and prevents the chestnuts to explode in the oven).

Spread them evenly in a baking sheet with the cut side facing up and sprinkle salt on them. Place in the oven in the middle rack and roast for about 35 minutes, shaking the pan once in a while to rotate them so they cook evenly. Peel the chestnuts as soon as possible (but watch your fingers!) because after cooling down completely they are difficult to peel. Plus, they taste better warm. Pair them with your favorite red wine. Enjoy!

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7 Responses to Roasted Chestnuts

  1. You know, I’ve actually never had roasted chestnuts. I know, I know–totally against the laws of Christmas. Maybe I’m just aloof, but I don’t really see chestnuts anywhere in the South.

    But these? Oh man, these are GORGEOUS, and I bet they’re just as tasty. I need to try to find some. STAT.

    • I never see them around as well. That’s why I was so surprised too. A few times I’ve seen those it was in tiny little containers with about half dozen each and expensive! My husband found these today imported from Italy. They’re not as good as the Portuguese chestnuts but oh boy I was missing that flavor!

  2. fooddreamer says:

    I’ve never had roasted chestnuts either. Saw them at Trader joe’s the other day and almost bought them. I really should have!

  3. Roasted chestnuts are delicious – I had made some two nights ago and I alone ate a full bowl of them – I couldn’t stop myself. And, yes, the wine helped them go down real easy! :)

  4. jana says:

    i just tried to shuck chestnuts this last weekend for the first time. hardest. thing. ever. my fingers did NOT love it at all. at all.

  5. Tes says:

    I love freshly toasted chestnuts in the sand in china town. They were so yummy :) your post make me wanna revisit that place again :)

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