When I was at the market on the weekend I came across some chestnuts and since I had not even seen chestnuts in a while so I immediatly picked some up. When I got home I looked through my bookmarks for interesting recipes with chestnuts I came across this one for an Italian lentil and chestnut stew on Mostly Eating that sounds really good. Most of the time when I have used chestnuts in the past it has been in sweet dishes and I liked the sound of using them in a savoury stew for a change. I also liked that this stew used lentils which I have been wanting to use more often. I pretty much stuck to the original recipe though I swapped some thyme in for the rosemary and I tossed in the rind of some parmigiano reggiano for some extra flavour.
The first thing that I needed to do was to get the chestnuts out of their shells and there are two ways to do so; I went with roasting the chestnuts but you could also go with boiling . The lentil and chestnut stew turned out really well! Between roasting the chestnuts and cooking the stew, my apartment was filled with some amazing aromas. The stew was nice and light and healthy and tasty and good! The chestnuts worked really well in the stew adding a nice hint of flavour and a nice contrasting texture. I served the stew with some cheesy garlic toast and garnished it with a bit of grated parmigiano reggiano. What a perfectly seasonal stew for a cool autumn day!
Italian Lentil and Chestnut Stew
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion (diced)
- 1 carrot (diced)
- 1 rib celery (diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 1 cup dry lentils
- 2 cups water (or broth)
- 1/2 cup roasted chestnuts (or boiled chestnuts)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig thyme
- parmigiano reggiano rind (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 handful parsley (chopped)
- Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the dried porcini mushrooms and let soak for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a large sauce pan.
- Add the onion, carrot and celery and saute until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
- Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
- Slice the porcini mushrooms retaining the liquid.
- Add the mushrooms, their water, the lentils, water, chestnuts, balsamic vinegar, bay leaf, thyme, parmigiano reggiano rind, salt and pepper into the sauce pan and simmer covered until the lentils are al dente, about 20-30 minutes.
- Remove from head and stir in the parsley.