CHESTNUTS ROASTING ON AN OPEN FIRE
A very European tradition is walking along the streets and encountering a vendor selling roasted chestnuts. This slightly sweet nut grows commonly in parts if Europe and Asia and can be distinguished by its spiny, outer coating. Once this dries out, you are left with what looks more like a traditional nut. This is what is roasted.
Although finding vendors is less common in North America, you can replicate the roasting in your oven. The result is very similar. You will also end up with a wonderful chestnut smell throughout the house. Pair this with a cup of mulled apple cider and you have Christmas rolled into one evening.
An added bonus is that these make a great snack that is low in calories and fat. They are gluten free, but higher in carbohydrates than other nuts. They have approximately 200 calories for 100 g and during the roasting, they can be seasoned as you wish.
I like roasting nuts with some salt and olive oil. I don’t like to take away from the natural flavour. The longest part of roasting chestnuts is scoring the nut. Before beginning, wash the chestnuts and use a sharp knife to cut a “X” shape on the nut. The purpose for this is so that they don’t explode during the roasting. It also is visually appealing when they are done AND it allows any flavours you add to enter the nut itself.
Score the top part of the chestnut (the rounded part) so that nut can lie flat on your baking tray. Once the chestnuts all have their “X”, toss them in some olive oil and sea salt.
Place the chestnuts, scored side up, on a tray and bake for 30 minutes in a preheated, 400º oven.
They will be very hot when they are done so simply remove them and cover them with a cloth for about 5 minutes. This will allow them to cool down and separate a bit from the shell for easier peeling. You will notice that the “X” scoring also helps to peel the chestnuts.
12 chestnuts (about 150 g)
1 Tbsp olive oil 120/2.4
1 tsp sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 400º.
2. Wash and score each chestnut wth an “X”.
3. Toss the chestnuts in the salt and olive oil.
4. Place score side up on a tray.
5. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
6. Remove and cover with a cloth for 5 minutes.
7. Peel and enjoy!
Protein 1.2 g