Autumn has changed face. She has taken off her Indian summer dress and change into something chillier. The wind has picked up, grey has taken over and wherever my gaze goes leaves have gathered in great heaps. I have noticed my longing for a stack of great books to carry me through the cool and my growing desire for hearty meals like stew and kichari. The produce we shop straight from the land has changed from late summer fodder to kale, sunchokes and chestnuts. Lou (2,5) looked at the latter with great and utter admiration. She loves playing with all of the leaves and nuts she finds in the park or woods. She sprinkles them around in our home and plays ‘forrest’. When I told her these chestnuts were for eating her eyes grew to the size of small plates. (Lou loves eating as much as she loves playing.)
After a bit of a chat we decided to prepare them together. To cut and roast them and eat them as an afternoon snack. You should have seen her face when she had her first taste of chestnut! A brilliant smile from ear to ear! Kids see the magic in the humblest of things. The things we adults take for granted. She reminds me, daily, to question, to wonder and to see the magic in the ordinary.
If you were to ask me what my favourite meal of the month was I’d say, without hesitation, this humble snack of roasted chestnuts. I made a COOKING VIDEO to share my love for them and show you just how easy and fun it is to DIY. You’ll find the written out recipe and a few delicious serving suggestions below.
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Buy or pick chestnuts. Preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius / 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a small sharp knife to cut a cross at the top of each chestnut. Place them onto an oven tray and roast for approximately 15 minutes, until the tops open. Peel them immediately, without burning your fingers. Remove both the thick outer peel as well as the thin inner peel to reveal a pale yellow nut. These peels come off easier when the chestnuts are still hot.
As a snack with some ghee or plant oil, a little sea salt and pepper. In a sweet dish such as a breakfast bowl or a desserts. For example my quince carpacchio.
Quince carpaccio with chesnuts, (nut) yoghurt and rosemary
Makes 2 portions
Takes 30 minutes
2 medium quinces, or (cooking) pears
50 grams raw honey or rice syrup
+-750 ml water
10 roasted chestnuts, in small chunks
300 ml clotted kefir or nut yoghurt
2 stalks fresh rosemary
Extra raw honey or rice syrup to taste
Peel the quinces. Cut across in slices so the core is centered. Place slices in a pot with peel, honey and water and bring to a soft boil. Cook for about 20 minutes or however long it takes for the slices to get soft. Separate water and peel from slices. Let the slices cool and air dry. Lay them out on plates, as you would with carpaccio. Sprinkle with roasted chestnuts, rosemary, the sweetener of your choice and a mini pinch of sea salt. Serve with clotted kefir or nut yoghurt.
Photos, recipe and text (c) (copyright) kyra. at kyra’s kitchen.