The Wait - Salt Roasted Chestnuts

my blue&white kitchen

I can feel how the growing darkness drains the energy from my body and mind. For me, this is the hardest part of the year. It's dark. Dark as ash. The sun only pays brief visits and I can both see and sense its slow but sure farewell. And the trees. Bare, screaming in the wind. And amidst this darkness, there's no snow to give some light. White, glistening light. That magical winter light that I adore so much. 

It's official now. I'm waiting for you, snow. Come soon, will you?

salt roasted chestnuts :: my blue&white kitchen
salt roasted chestnuts :: my blue&white kitchen

Salt Roasted Chestnuts

Chestnut season runs from early October through late December. Their flesh is sweet, energy-rich and highly nutritious. Fresh chestnuts should be heavy in your hands and firm to your touch, and have a shiny brown color. The kernels should be light in color. Pinholes may indicate worms so avoid those ones.

Why roast them in salt? The salt protects them from burning and keeps them moist. And it looks pretty as well! It's how my mom has taught me to prepare them. They are a great way to begin or end a meal, or you can enjoy them as a winter snack. You could even put them into your coat pockets – they will keep your hands warm on a chilly day! {Although I don't know who really does that anymore... Well, me. Last year. Once.}
 
 

500 g (1 lb) chestnuts
~ 1 kg (2 lb) coarse sea salt 

salted butter, to serve {I enjoy them with fleur de sel butter}
 

Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F). 

Add the salt to an ovenproof dish (mine was 21 cm / 8"). Using a sharp knife, make a cross incision along the bulging side of each chestnut. Cut deep enough to penetrate the shell but try not to harm the flesh of the nut. And be careful not to cut yourself! Place the chestnuts, cut side up, into the salt. Two-thirds of the nut should be covered by salt.

Roast on the middle rack for about 30 minutes, or until the skins open and the insides are tender. Serve immediately. Everyone at the table can peel their own chestnuts - peel away the tough outer shell and the papery skin and enjoy the sweet kernels with a knob of butter. You may want to use a knife to help peel the chestnuts.

 

Note: You can store the salt for later use. 


salt roasted chestnuts :: my blue&white kitchen
salt roasted chestnuts :: my blue&white kitchen
salt roasted chestnuts :: my blue&white kitchen
salt roasted chestnuts :: my blue&white kitchen

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my blue&white kitchen

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