From a freakishly summery September with all the sun and warmth we did not get in August, we fell right into autumn. It rains more often than not and we started unearthing gloves and scarves.
But I am not complaining – autumn is a great time for foraging. You can forage in the parks or in the woods. Or, like we did, in other people’s gardens.
The sweet chestnuts that grow in the Netherlands are smaller than the ones imported from France and therefore a bit more troublesome to peel. But they are ours for the picking and who can resist food for free?
Preheat the oven to 210 degrees Celsius (420F).
Use a serrated knive to make an incision in the rounded side of each chestnut. Try not to cut too deep, but go down the sides – it will make the peeling easier. Put the chestnuts in a pan and cover with water. Bring them to a boil, than take them out with a slotted spoon. Put the chestnuts in an ovenproof dish and bake them for about 15 to 20 minutes. Take them out of the oven and cover the dish with a teatowel. Let it rest for about 15 min, then peel the chestnuts. I usually put the chestnuts on the table and let everyone do their share of peeling.