This is a colourful side dish that adds texture to a roast dinner. When pumpkin is not in season substitute with butternut squash and for a short cut, buy ready peeled vacuum packed chestnuts.
Chestnuts, unlike other nuts and seeds, are relatively low in calories; contain less fat but are rich in minerals, vitamins and nutrients that benefit health. They are chiefly made of starch rather than fat similar to sweet potatoes, sweet corn and plantain.
To cook fresh chestnuts either boil them completely in their skins, simmer for 20 minutes. Leave to cool and then peel. This method is best if you are mashing them as they will tend to fall apart.
Alternatively roast them at 200C/ 400 F for 20 minutes; make cuts horizontally or an ‘x’ along the side otherwise they can potentially explode from internal pressure if not pierced!
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 6 people
Ingredients:1 kg pumpkin – peeled, de seeded and cubed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
250g whole chestnuts – peeled
1 teaspoon golden caster sugar
2 shallots – peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic – peeled and finely chopped
3 tablespoons freshly thyme– roughly chopped
Method1) Preheat the oven to 180C/ 170 C fan/ gas mark 4.
2) Line a baking tray with baking parchment paper.
3) Toss the pumpkin with the olive oil and salt and pepper.
4) Roast for 30 minutes or until soft and golden.
5) Add the chestnuts, sugar, shallots and garlic and cook for a further 15 minutes.
6) Transfer the cooked pumpkin mixture to a serving dish.
To serve the stylish way: Sprinkle over some chopped thyme