Roasted Chestnuts by Maria Lawton

This snack is best enjoyed hot from the oven, preferably with a glass of wine. Note that chestnuts get harder to peel as they cool. Some of the shells and papery skin will come off easily; some will not. Placing them back in the oven for ten minutes can be helpful if too many of them are stubborn.


  • 1 pound fresh chestnuts
  • water
  • coarse sea salt
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


  • Using a very sharp small knife, carefully cut a straight line across the base of each chestnut. Penetrating the shell and just into the flesh of the nut allows steam to escape. Otherwise, chestnuts can explode!
  • Put the chestnuts in a large saucepan, and cover with cold water. Add 2 teaspoons of salt, and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for 15 minutes, then drain.
  • Strew a thin layer of salt to cover the bottom of a baking tray or large cast iron skillet. Place in preheated oven and roast 30 minutes. Peel and eat while hot.


Read about the Feast of St. Martin by Maria Lawton here.