How to make chestnut pesto
After spending a good part of my Sunday tearing my fingernails off trying to extract the chestnut from its hard shell, I think I can safely safe that boiling chestnuts is for suckers.
Joy of Cooking advised cutting an X in the flat side of each shell…
and boiling them for five minutes, which is supposed to make the shell pliable enough to tear away from the nut. I didn’t find this to be the case. It was a major pain iremoving the shell; my thumb and index finger actually throb trying to type these words right now! I much prefer the roasting method, which was so much easier. (Our yard is full of chestnuts come fall.)
Thankfully, I was making chestnut pesto, which I cobbled together from some pine nut pesto recipes and tweaked a bit. Pesto doesn’t call for many nuts so what remained of my fingers were spared.
- 4 ounces chestnuts, cooked and peeled
- 3 ounces goat cheese
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 bunches Italian parsley
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 3/4 cup good quality olive oil
Place the chestnuts, goat cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, parsley in a food processor and pulse until it’s ground up good. Add the lemon juice and, with the motor still running, slowly drizzle in the oil until it’s granular smooth. Stop to scrape down the sides. If it’s too grainy, add more oil and pulse again until it reaches the desired consistency. It makes about 1 1/2 – 2 cups, so there should be enough for two or even three meals.
We spooned some of ours onto homemade pizza tonight: Chestnut pesto and lightly sauteed potatoes on Jake’s special crust. It was awesome!
I washed it down with sherry. I don’t know why, but I’ve been loving me some sherry lately. Must be the cold, drizzly weather.