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How To Roast Chestnuts

I’ve been in love with chestnuts most of my life. My great Aunty used to roast them in the oven for me and my sister when I was young and serve them with cinnamon roasted pumpkin or  free range roasted chicken where she made a stuffing made from chestnuts, caramalised onions and pear. I also love to cook them over a BBQ when I’m entertaining friends. They only have a short season and autumn is the perfect time to enjoy them fresh. Nutritionally 100 g has about 732 kilojoules (174 calories), 0.6 g fat, 3.4 g protein, 8 g fibre  and 34 g of carbs. They have a low GI or 54 and are gluten free.

There is a secret to roasting chestnuts that many of you may not know. The first rule to remember is that not all chestnuts are created equal. It’s important when buying your chestnuts to get them from your local greengrocer and ask them to supply you with good (easy peel) chestnuts for roasting. There are many varieties and some are great for boiling, whilst other are suited for roasting, imparting a sweet, delicious nutty flavour to die for.  Many supermarkets only sell the boiling variety which is great if you’re making stuffings, mashed chestnuts, salads or soups.

STEP 1 – CHOOSE A GOOD ROASTING CHESTNUT.
When buying chestnuts, look for even-sized nuts which feel heavy for their size, with undamaged, firm shells.
Get them from your local greengrocer and ask them to give you the right ones for roasting.

STEP 2 – CUT THE SHELL BEFORE YOU COOK.
Before cooking, the most important step is to cut the shell to prevent the nut exploding while cooking. I like to cut criss-cross slit across the round face of the nut using a small serrated knife.
Be careful and take your time.

STEP 3 – PRE HEAT YOUR OVEN.
Preheat oven to 200ºC.

STEP 4 – ARRANGE YOUR CHESTNUTS.
Arrange chestnuts cut side up onto a baking tray.

STEP 5: ROAST YOUR CHESTNUTS.
Roast chestnuts for 15 – 20 minutes or until the shell splits open if you’re using an oven.
Barbeque on a hot plate or cook in a cast iron pan, turning occasionally for 20 minutes or until the shell splits open.

STEP 6: ADD A LITTLE STEAM.
For easier peeling, wrapping the chestnuts in a tea-towel for 10 minutes will help with the peeling process.

STEP 7: PEEL AND ENJOY.
Peel your chestnuts and enjoy straight from the shell.

HOW TO ENJOY CHESTNUTS.

  • Eat fresh from the oven
  • Use roasted chestnuts in place of potato at evening meals. Drizzle with a little olive oil + enjoy.
  • Serve with roasted cinnamon pumpkin.
  • Add to a chicken or vegetable stir fry with a little tamari soy sauce and mirin
  • Chestnut flour makes the best gluten-free cakes.I combine with fresh orange, honey and organic eggs – Wow what an amazing cake they make.
  • Add roasted chestnuts to a wild mushroom risotto made from roasted buckwheat or brown rice and  finish off liberally with fine grated parmesan.
  • Make a salad from baby spinach, roasted chestnuts, shaved pear and drizzle with lemon and cold pressed olive oil dressing.
  • Add finely sliced chestnuts to an organic egg omelette  along with mushrooms and caramalised onion.
  • Make a stuffing for roasted chicken or turkey by combining chestnuts, onion, pear, parsley and shallot.
  • Combine chopped chestnuts into falafels made from chickpeas (garbanzo beans), pistachio, roasted garlic, lemon parsley and mint and serve with yoghurt or tahini dressing.
  • Make pesto from chestnuts, fresh basil leaves, parsley, walnuts, garlic, lemon and cold pressed olive oil. Fold through zucchini noodles and baby spinach leaves.

 

 

 


 

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16 Responses to “How To Roast Chestnuts”
  1. Snejana says:

    Hi Teresa! I just wanted to let you know that your recipes are fantastic!! Finally, an athlete that cooks delicious food :) I rave about your website to all my clients (I’m a PT) and cannot stop cooking your recipes at home for my hubby and I. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Rosanna says:

    Thankyou so very much for this one! I love chestnuts, you made a job so hard, ( for me ) very easy. Cheers

  3. HUBBY says:

    Yeah these get the HUBBY tick Loved em .)

  4. Jenny says:

    Hi Teresa, I like the sound of the finely sliced chestnuts to an organic egg omelette along with mushrooms and caramalised onion. How do you make caramalised onion.

    • Shannyn schriber says:

      Heat up oil in pan at a medium temp. Chop onions however you would like them. Sauté in oil.
      Or you could use butter and add salt. Yummy :)

  5. Andrea says:

    Thanks, I had tried roasting chestnuts last year with little success – I couldn’t peel them! Will use these tips!

  6. Lisa Ingram says:

    Teresa, once roasted can they keep? Do they freeze at all? I can recommend making a mushroom stroganoff w chestnuts in. Onion, mushrooms, peas, paprika, cream (sure someone can healthify this, but cream I say!), bit of tomato or paste, and chestnuts! Delicious over brown rice. Lisa

    • Love the strog idea ! Yes they freeze well.:)

      • Lisa Ingram says:

        Thanks for this. I bought 43 from the Vic Market yesterday and roasted them. Yes I know it was 43 because one by one shelling the morsels is certainly focussing! I made a chocolate self saucing pudn with chestnuts in, adapted from an old ‘Keith Floyd on Britain and Ireland’ cookbook. Not so much on the healthy side, but we started with carrot and caraway soup and proceeded through a chickpea, chilli, garlic, lemon, kale, greek yog dish (with steak for the meatatarians) so I figure a bit of pud at the end was a balance! Froze some of the extra chestnuts… cheers, Lisa

  7. Esta says:

    Just roasted some of my FIL’s chestnuts. OMG they were so sweet! Between my husband and I they were gone in a blink of the eye! Lucky I have some more to roast tomorrow! Thanks for the advice on how to roast them – much much much better than boiled!

  8. nicole says:

    HI Teresa,
    Ii love your recipes!!
    that chestnut/orange cake sounds amazing, can you put it up as a recipe some time soon?

  9. connie says:

    Can u pls share some chestnut flour receipes
    Thanks

  10. Rona says:

    Hello Teresa

    In England we serve them with Brussel sprouts and bacon at Christmas, makes a wonderful addition to the Christmas table.

  11. Anita says:

    I’ve been given some dried chestnuts – any tips on how I can use them? Love your recipes and advice. Thanks

  12. Great recipes and ideas! Many thanks. I found a really good recipe years ago using chestnuts in a butternut squash soup.

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