Chestnuts season is finally here! This wonderful nutty and starchy ingredient is not only the secret to my delicious Marrons Glaces and a very fond memory of Christmas treats, but also very versatile, and savoury chestnuts recipes are actually great.
Without further ado, here are some of my favourite savoury chestnuts recipes.
Autumn Chestnut Salad:
This great recipe comes from the BBC Good Food archive, and it couldn't be more delicious. It only requires a few ingredients, and they are all the right ones. It's perfect for this time of year: crusty bread, beetroots, chestnuts, salad leaves of your choice, apples and ham.
- Toss the cubed or torn bread with some olive oil and roast in the oven to make homemade croutons, and fry the cubed ham (or pancetta, or bacon, or leave the meat out entirely) briefly in a pan until crisp.
- Cut the apple into thin slices or batons, chop the cooked beetroot and crumble the cooked chestnuts into smaller, bite-sized pieces.
- Put everything together in a bowl over a bed of salad, dress with a vinaigrette of your choice, and prepare to be amazed.
This salad is tender thanks to the bright salad and the buttery chestnuts. Crisp, thanks to the croutons and fried ham, and crunchy, thanks to the apples. The combination of sweet, salty and buttery flavours is surprising and absolutely delicious.
Chestnut and Shallot Tarte Tatin:
This is a great dinner party starter. When I’m in a pinch, I use ready-made puff pastry and already-cooked chestnuts. But the result is so delicious, this tart will impress all of your guests.
I normally make my tarte tatin in a loose-based cake tin for easy removal. I cut my shallots lengthwise to make them look extra pretty, and lay them cut-side down in a single layer. You want to season them well, drizzle them with oil and roast for about 20 to 25 minutes. Then, take them out of the oven and drizzle with balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with some brown sugar and bake them for 10 more minutes until they are soft, golden brown and caramelised. Let cool for a few minutes, then scatter the crumbled chestnuts on top and press down lightly. I love the combination of shallots and chestnuts with thyme, so I always add some fresh thyme leaves at this stage. If you try this tarte, let me know what you think.
Unroll your premade puff pastry and cut it to the shape you need, and place it over the shallots easing the sides down with the blunt edge of a butter knife. Prick the pastry with a fork -you can egg wash it if you want- and bake in a 200C oven for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is flaky and a lovely golden brown. Leave to cool for about 5 minutes, then carefully turn the tarte upside down on your serving plate and enjoy this warming, delicious treat.
P.S.: if your shallots stick to the tin, don’t panic! Just ease them out with a knife and rearrange them on the pastry. It will be delicious nonetheless and no one will ever need to know.
To end your dinner in style...
Serving suggestions for these fantastic recipes? But some Lavolio confectionery, of course! Why not pair these autumn and winter warming dishes with my Decadent Spiced collection? The combination of handmade chocolates, nuts and spices makes it the perfect treat for after dinner. Also, a great foodie gift.
What is your favourite way to use chestnuts in savoury dishes?