Make a batch of roasted chestnuts with a drizzle of sage browned butter this winter.
The sweet smell of chestnuts roasting in the air is one of those scents of the season that truly embodies the spirit of the holidays.
A special treat enjoyed only around this time of year, the warm cozy aroma leaves the house smelling so wonderfully inviting as they crackle and pop in the heat. It never feels quite like the holidays without digging into a pile of roasted chestnuts at least once or twice.
Of course, I can’t help but think of the classic “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole when I think of chestnuts, and while yes they are quite wonderful roasted over an open fire if you’ve got one, they’re also just as easy to make in the oven.
Roasting chestnuts is quite a bit simpler than you might think; the fiddly bit for the most part is that you’ll need to mark each chestnut with an X before they go into the oven. A sharp knife and a kitchen towel will help tremendously with that, however, and the rest of the work is left to the heat of the oven.
If you’ve never bought chestnuts before I suggest you keep an eye out for ones with smooth, shiny shells that feel heavy for their size. They should give just a little when you press on them but not feel hollow inside or else they will already be past their prime.
I like to finish mine of with a nice drizzle of browned sage butter for an extra layer of savory nuttiness. The fresh sage leaves crisp up as the butter browns and the whole thing is poured over the roasted chestnuts as they come out of the oven. A generous shower of salt is the final flourish and you’re ready to dig in with your hands and start peeling and popping those warm chestnuts into your mouth.
Here’s to the holidays!
Have you ever roasted chestnuts before?