Everything you need to know about October’s seasonal treat, the chestnut! Here are some mouthwatering recipes to get you cooking with them in the kitchen

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Sweet chestnuts

Via: Neil Cummings / CC BY-SA 2.0 / adapted / Flickr: chanceprojects​

We love pretty much any type of street food (gluttons as we are), but getting yourself a tasty bag of roasted chestnuts from a street vendor has to be up there with the best.

 

Of course, foragers who aren’t put off by the biting cold can help themselves from mid-autumn when the nuts of the sweet chestnut tree hit the ground. Just don’t go out there collecting conkers (unless you’re gearing up for a conker fight) because those are from the horse chestnut tree and taste properly gross.

 

Wondering how to tell the difference? The leaves of the sweet chestnut tree are shaped like a spearhead while the horse chestnut’s leaves are pear shaped. So there’s a little factoid for you.

 

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Chestnut tree leaves

Via: dal.hubpages.com (left) and countrysideinfo.co.uk (right)

The leaves of a horse chestnut (right) and sweet chestnut tree (left)

Failing to forage doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy chestnuts. You can also buy vacuum-packed or puréed chestnuts from supermarkets and even chestnut flour from health shops.

 

Throwing chestnuts into the embers of a fire is the traditional way to enjoy them but make sure you prick them first so they don’t explode. That said, according to Richard Mabey, the author of Food For Free (Hardcover, RRP £25, Collins), leaving one unpricked to detonate announces that the others are ready to eat. Clever, eh?

 

Are you feeling a bit more adventurous? Here are our top chestnut recipes to try this week. Enjoy! 

 

Mushroom and chestnut soup with truffle oil

Serve in vintage tea cups for effortless style.

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Mushroom and chestnut soup with truffle oil

Via: Homemade

 

 

Brussels sprouts with chestnut and parsley crumbs

Not just for Christmas, Brussels sprouts taste sweet and nutty. Pair them with chestnuts for an awesome texture combo.

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Brussels sprouts with chestnut and parsley crumbs

Via: Homemade

 

 

Chestnut and date stuffing

Make roast chicken more special with these nutty stuffing balls. Stonking in a sarnie, too.

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Chestnut and date stuffing

Via: Homemade

 

 

Warm pheasant salad with croutons and cider dressing

This is not just a salad. This is a warm pheasant and deliciously nutty salad with a creamy crème fraîche and cider vinegar dressing. Posh nosh at its best.

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Warm pheasant salad with croutons and cider dressing

Via: Homemade

 

 

Big tray of roasted vegetables

Roast parsnips, carrots, potatoes and red onion with chestnuts and maple syrup. These will taste anything but ordinary.

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Big tray of roasted vegetables

Via: Homemade

 

 

Chestnut and sage pasta with pancetta

Nothing beats a big bowl of pasta on a chilly autumn eve, but have you ever thrown some chestnuts in there? Time to try.

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Chestnut & sage pasta with pancetta

Via: Homemade

 

 

Decadent chocolate and chestnut bars

Chocolate-covered chestnuts, chopped figs and white chocolate chunks lying on a crumbly biscuit base. Paired with a strong espresso you'll land right in the middle of a foodie nirvana.

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Decadent chocolate and chestnut bars

Via: Homemade

 

 

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