The Year In Food » Fine Seasonal Eating

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Roasted Chestnuts

Roasted Chestnuts

Although we did not grow up eating chestnuts this time of year, there is something about their warm, woodsy smell when roasting that makes me incredibly nostalgic. Perhaps it is a very specific case of synesthesia, that phenomenon in which you confuse one sense for another, only I have confused those lyrics (chestnuts roasting on an open fire, of course) for an actual ritual from my childhood.

Regardless of my mysterious attachment to them, they’re a lovely treat. Decidedly un-nutty for something being called so, they are sweet and soft and delicate, dense in texture but yielding to the tooth.

Chestnuts are tasty eaten plain and hot from an oven or folded into an appetizer, pilaf or dessert.



1 or 2 lbs chestnuts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Using a sharp paring knife, score an X into the skin of each chestnut – this allows steam to release while they are roasting, and prevents them from exploding in the oven!

Roast the chestnuts for about 25-30 minutes, until the skin has peeled outward and their shells have darkened.

Let them rest, covered under a dishcloth, for about 5 minutes. While they are still warm, peel both the outer shell and the inner brown skin from the nut.

  • Lynda Balslev - I grew accustomed (and attached) to eating roasted chestnuts while living in Europe. Come December they were available from street carts in the city streets while we were finishing shopping or heading to dinner. Thanks for the memory!ReplyCancel

  • kimberley - Indeed! I bet that nothing tops getting them from a street cart.ReplyCancel

  • Paula - These look amazing! Perfect for the holidays! All that’s missing is some homemade eggnog, I tried this recipe last night and am absolutely obsessed, must try!

  • David - Hi Kimberley, thanks for leaving a comment on our blog so that we could find yours. It is beautiful!
    I have actually never roasted chestnuts myself, but I love to eat them, so I think now is the time!ReplyCancel

  • Carlie - I am so tempted to try these. They sell whole chestnuts in bags at our local grocery and they sound so festive, but I’m sure I’ve tried them before and seem to remember now actually liking them. I’m afraid I’m get them all cooked up and then realize that I was totally right, I hate them. *wince*ReplyCancel

    • kimberley - Carlie, I know what you mean! I though that I hated them too. It seems that the challenge lies in their association with nuts when they’re actually more similar to a starch. If you don’t like them plain, you can sneak them into a chestnut pate – I’ll post the recipe tomorrow.ReplyCancel

  • Mushroom + Chestnut Pate with Goat Cheese » The Year In Food - […] ounces cremini mushrooms, stems removed, chopped 1 cup Roasted Chestnuts, chopped 1 cup diced onion 1/3 cup diced shallot 4 ounces goat cheese 1 tablespoon minced garlic 1 […]ReplyCancel

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