Diane, A Broad
October 16, 2012

Roasted Chestnuts with Black Pepper Honey

Chestnuts are making their way back to the street vendors. Sometimes, stepping out of a metro stop, I smell the familiar smoky charcoal smell of the roasters and almost stop to buy a handful.

But invariably, whenever I do buy some, they’re nearly impossible to peel. That’s why I’ve taken to roasting them at home — I can cut huge slits in the peels before roasting them, and they nearly fall off after being roasted.

I’ve also found what seems to be the perfect dipping sauce for chestnuts: chestnut honey, or miel de châtaignier, mixed with a good amount of coarse-ground pepper. The tongue-coating quality of the honey helps to mitigate the tendency of fresh-roasted chestnuts of being a little dry, and the pepper cuts through their creaminess with some spice. And I must admit, pairing honey made from chestnut flowers with the nuts that those trees eventually produced is pleasingly recursive.

Roasted Chestnuts with Black Pepper Honey

From Bon Appétit.

1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
36 fresh chestnuts


Stir the honey and pepper together and set aside.

Heat oven to 425°F (220°C).

Cut large X’s into the flat sides of each chestnut with a sharp paring knife or a serrated blade. Scatter the chestnuts on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until the shells around the cut X’s curl back from the flesh and a toothpick poked into the nut meat meets no resistance. Cool chestnuts briefly.

Peel the chestnuts and eat while still warm, dipped in the black pepper honey.

Music to cook by: Slow and Steady [Of Monsters and Men // My Head Is An Animal]

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6 responses to “Roasted Chestnuts with Black Pepper Honey”

  1. cookparadise says:

    Une excellente découverte
    Je te souhaite une douce soirée

  2. I love this time of year. Such great food options. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Even though roasted chestnuts are everywhere in New York, I never tried them until I lived in Spain. In my fave restaurant in Madrid there is a dessert made of roasted chestnuts with creamy yogurt and a tart, brilliant lemon curd. Totally turned me onto chestnuts and reading your post reminded me of amazing nights around Spanish dinner tables.

  4. So lovely. I miss the smells of Europe, all the food and the bakeries. Los Angeles really lacks in the smell department. Even NYC, (which, I know, has a pervasive urine smell) seems to have pockets that have great food smells floating through the streets. Not so much here.

  5. chewtown says:

    I grew up with my dad eating roasted chestnuts every winter.. But you’ve just reminded me that I haven’t had them in ages! I love the black pepper honey idea – sounds amazing.

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