I put together this little appetizer plate one afternoon for DH and I to share.  With the emphasis on the Roasted Chestnuts.  I only purchased a handful, as we had never had roasted chestnuts before, and were not sure what to expect.  With the last week before Christmas, life has been hectic.  We are ready, as ready as we will ever be.  Actually, this year will be quiet and low key, we have family coming for dinner, and are planning a wonderful Gluten Free Christmas dinner with all the fixings.  Despite the business of our lives these days, we wanted to try Roasted Chestnuts.  They are, after all, a part of Christmas, right?
They were really easy to roast.  On the flat side of the Chestnut, make a cut mark with a sharp pointed knife so any steam can escape.  Place in a pan, and with your finger tips dipped in water, sprinkle water over the nuts.  Place in a preheated 425 degree oven, and roast 20-25 minutes, turning over half way through.  Place onto a towel, and once cooled, wrap up the towel, pressing down on the shells to remove the outer shell.  There is also a skin on the nut that needs to be removed as well.
They can lightly be seasoned with sea salt. The Chestnuts were soft, and surprisingly sweet tasting, which I guess was unexpected for us.  To be honest, we did not like them.  Not one bit.  I was thankful for the salty olives and cheese to offset the sweetness of the chestnut.  And they were soft, are nuts supposed to be soft?  I have never had a soft nut before - (Dh thought I should be rude here, but I better not, 'cause it's Xmas).  So I ask, have you ever roasted Chestnuts?  And do you like them? Or are they an acquired taste?
Well, I am not sure if I will be making these again, but thought I may as well share what we did with these Chestnuts for those of you that love em.  After many years of curiosity about these nuts, at least we now know what they taste like.  What is your take on roasted Chestnuts? Do you love em, or do you leave em?

Ina Gawne


  1. Ina, that is a good question. I have a couple chestnut trees and when and if they decide to produce a few (if I'm not 90 by then) I'll make Maroons Glace', which is basically a candied sugar coating on a cooked chestnut. Not bad, not bad at all, but naked chestnuts I'm a little lukewarm on.
    You can also grind up the chestnuts and make a really great flour, from what I read it's gluten free. I had a killer cake made from it once. Merry Christmas! Tom, Boz & Gracie.

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December 18, 2010