I have been seeing chestnuts in the market for the last few weeks and I kept thinking that I would like to try them. But, I was wondering what I could do with them. I thought the first thing that I should do was roast them. Roasting and peeling the chestnuts was a bit of work but well worth the effort. I really liked the chestnuts. Now I will have to look for some recipes that use them.
How to Roast Chestnuts
- 2 pounds chestnuts
- Cut an X into one side of the chestnuts to allow steam to escape. This will prevent the chestnut from exploding.
- Place the chestnuts on a baking sheet with the X facing up.
- Bake the chestnuts in a preheated 425F/220C oven until they are tender and easy to peel, about 15-25 minutes
- Let the chestnuts cool.
- Peel the shells and the skin from the nuts.
Peter M says
Chestnuts (when in season) are wonderful for cooking and a fireside snack.
I love roasted chestnuts. When I was young, I would eat them ALL the time. A lot of times I’d just pop mine in the toaster oven because it was just me eating them sine everyone else had their fill 🙂
Good for you! I’ve written about chestnuts, I have an authentic Italian chestnut tree right in my front yard, but for the life of me I haven’t been able to roast them successfully.
I’ve got a recipe for you though . . . for a chocolate chestnut torte. Enjoy!
Oh man… I love chestnuts and they bring back happy childhood memories. No trip to the ROM was complete (in the winter) without buying a little bag of chestnuts from one of the vendors who could always be found out by the front steps. There was one vendor who used to dance (greek, I’m sure) for his own amusement in between customers. We would walk home and my hands would half frozen and half burnt while I peeled the chestnuts and stuffed myself.
I haven’t seen a chestnut vendor in years. *sniff*
The chocolate and chestnut torte sounds good. I would not have though of pureeing chestnuts. Thanks for the link.
Well, there’s chestnut soup, and chestnuts sauteed with brussels sprouts, and chestnut purees and chestnut soufles….
If you were closer I’d give you my chestnut cook book!
Your 4 look perfect! Well done!
I remember seeing many trolley stalls back in Asia using heaps of charcoal to roast those chestnuts!
I had never tasted roasted chestnuts until we moved to Sicily. Here they roast chestnuts on the street corners during this time of the year and you just walk up and buy a bagful. I think they are absolutely wonderful while still warm!
The Cooking Ninja says
We usually just slice a tiny bit of the skin off the chestnut.
This was an interesting post,
people usually think of pasta and pizza when mentioning Italian cuisine but you’d have to remember that a good deal of Italy is either hilly or montainous and in centuries past wheat flour was hard to come by in these zones (and pricy if it was transported there), so large strata of population had to resort to other sources of carbohydrates for their daily fare. Chestnuts provided an important source while legumes like chickpeas and broad beans another. Today in Italy chestnuts are mainly used for cakes and sweets or for “fancy” kinds of bread and pasta, but yesterday rather than fancies those preparations meant the difference between survival or starvation.
I am glad to see that you and your reader appreciate chestnuts so much.
I blogged Chestnut Truffles yesterday and I may even attempt to make chestnut chocolate cookies this weekend. You can also make chocolate chestnut mousse!
Roasted Chestnut is one of the winter treats in Asia–China, Japan. It brings back childhood memory. The sweet, nutty smells draw me from a mile away. I would not past up any chance to buy a bag of hot chestnuts.
Your method seems so easy…I don’t know why my last attempt turned out so bad…I cut an x like you did and roasted them the same way…when I tried to peel them, the brown skin wouldn’t come off…and the whole chestnut just crumbled in the process. Do you think I over-cooked them?
Strange… I am not sure why the chestnuts would crumble like that.
Bedlam in Britian says
Christmas fireside with roasted chestnuts and a warmed glass of mulled wine. That’s what I’m doing tonight!
Just looking for a reminder on how to do ’em!
well im trying the chestnut receipe as you posted, i myself being italian were brought up to soak them overnight but im going to try this method tonight and see what happens. i found these chestnuts in an asian market so im not sure if they are the same as the italian one, so we will see
CIAO !! BON APPITET !!
I roasted chestnuts for the first time last night, and I found them so hard to peel. Do you have any tips to make it easier? Maybe I overcooked mine.
I love chestnuts! While living in Korea I would buy them roasted at a roadside stand on the way home… they roast them in charcoal, and they are so good. Often they were already peeled, though.
Will you make more things with chestnuts this year?
Meaghan: Some of them are harder to peel than others but in general you want to roast them until they start to curl up along the X that you cut into them. I am definitely looking forward the the chestnuts this year and I hope to try some new things with them.
pj mack says
bread knife best to X the shells,too! Wack!
Brian Grover says
In Japan chestnuts are usually boiled, peeled and cooked with "kurigohan" which is pretty good. Nothing beats roasting, however.
Marc Price says
Putting a cross before cooking is ok but the chestnut dries out quicker when roasting so put two small holes into them each side instead they are then softer and easier to eat use a knife into the holes to crack them open.
Gordon Hamilton says
Although I have eaten roast chestnuts many times over the years, I had never tried to roast them myself until a few days ago. I therefore consulted Google for advice…
I tried many options and all were disgusting, rendering the chestnuts inedible. Your recipe is perfect and actually works.
Roasting Korean Chestnut does not result in an edible product. The Italian kind is what is for roasting. The Korean furry shell is part of the fruit and it does not separate by roasting which results in an pleasant experience while the furry skin of the Italian is part of the shell and peel perfectly. So, use Italian chestnut if you want to eat it and I am still wondering what the Koreans use the chestnut for. Certainly not for roasting.
You can roast Korean chestnuts. I don't know what this other person is talking about. You roast them exactly the way it's explained here and they are great.
Try this,vwhen you boil them do it in salt water
Can I do this a couple of days before? If so, can I keep them out on the counter, or should I refrigerate?
Anonymous: Yes, you can roast them a couple of days before using them. I would keep them in the fridge.
I left the chestnuts in a plastic bag on a counter for a day, and they were all wet. When roasting, I saw water dripping out, and one nut exploded. I suspect that the Korean chestnuts have been in the water for a while, which adds weight ($) and makes the nut expand and press to the shell. In the next batch, I will let the nuts dry a bit, before roasting, hoping that the shell will be easier to remove, and to get more of the roasted chestnut aroma.