Enjoy an Autumn tradition – Roasting chestnuts in the oven
- When selecting chestnuts, pick the ones that are full, dark and shiny. Avoid ones that are dull on the outside and shrivelled inside. This will reduce the likelihood of there being mold inside.
- Slit chestnuts with one long slit from top to bottom (or make an X), using a strong, straight edge knife. Be careful not to cut yourself as the nuts can be wobbly. This will allow steam to escape and prevent them from exploding in the oven. They will also be easier to peel.
- Set oven to “broil” and pre-heat it to 425°F (218°C). Broiling, rather than baking, gives them more of a fire-roasted flavour.
- Place the chestnuts on a metal baking pan and put it in the oven close to the top heating element. Broil for about 20 minutes, gently stirring or shaking chestnuts midway so they roast evenly. If you are using a gas stove (which tend to be hotter), watch that they don’t burn.
Note: Your goal should be roasting chestnuts to the point where the inside is completely soft, but the surface of the nutmeat is slightly toasted to a golden brown with a bit of crispness.
Eating your oven roasted chestnuts
Serve roasted chestnuts warm with the shell attached and let people peel the shell and fuzzy skin off themselves by sticking their fingers into the slit and pulling the shell away from the nutmeat. If any parts appear very black, that probably was mold and is now charred and not dangerous. Just cut or tear away the black part and enjoy the good parts.
Written by Tom Salsberg
Other chestnut recipes
A google search of vegweb.com finds around 11 vegetarian recipes that use chestnuts.