When the weather gets cold I go in search of warmth. Hot cups of tea, pots of stew and baked goodies. My oven which has been sad fully neglected over summer suddenly becomes my favourite kitchen gadget. Seriously, how amazing are ovens?
Roasted chestnuts are a recent discovery of mine. I remember reading about them in books when I was young - it's so exciting to be cooking and eating them myself now! Chestnuts have become part of our autumn menu along with persimmons and pears.
Eating seasonally is such a sensual pleasure. Food tastes better because it is grown in harmony with nature. When we eat in harmony with seasonal offerings our bodies are eagerly waiting for the food, they even crave it! We have the delicious feeling that comes with anticipation of our favourite foods being ripe and ready to eat. I love the way seasonal eating marks the wheel of the year giving it structure and purpose. It anchors me to nature and to now in a way little else can.
Pre heat oven to 180°C.
Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Use a sharp knife to cut a cross on one side of your chestnut. You want the cross to go through the shell.
Put your chestnuts on the baking tray, cross side up and cook for 10-15 until the shells have peeled back.
Take them out of the oven, wait till they cool a little (not too long 'cos you want to eat 'em when they are still hot!) and then peel.