Chestnuts evoke memories of cold European winters where chestnuts are roasted in batches by a jolly old man on his chestnut cart. Or perhaps – “roasting chestnuts on an open fire” is more familiar? You may not see street vendors selling chestnuts in Sydney or Melbourne- but that doesn’t mean you can’t give them a go!
Chestnuts always make their appearance in my co-op’s fruit and vegetable boxes at this time of year (it’s winter in Australia). They arrive in big sacks and instantly, I have the urge to dip my entire hand in and grab a handful of the curious little things – so smooth and cute!
As cosy as chestnuts always sound, it never surprises me that most people have never tried cooking them.
They look exotic and too cool for cooking school, but I guarantee you that they are easy to prepare. Roasted chestnuts are a delicious and unique addition to your winter table. They are soft, and sweet tasting, making them easy on any palette.
Quick tip before I go – chestnuts should only be kept in the fridge for a couple of days before they are roasted to maximize on taste and texture.
What you need:
As many chestnuts as you’d like to roast!
Preheat your oven to 220 deg C.
You will need to score an X on top of each of your chestnuts. A sharp, serrated knife (a bread knife is perfect) is best. Make sure you cut into the outer shell, all the way to the nut itself. Don’t skip this step as chestnuts can explode whilst cooking otherwise.
Put all of your chestnuts on a lined baking tray with X’s facing up.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the skin around the X’s start peeling back.
Remove from the oven and place a tea-towel on top of the chestnuts to allow them to steam for a little longer.
Roasted chestnuts are best enjoyed right away!! Pull the skin off and enjoy!