"Enjoy chestnuts with just a sprinkle of salt," suggests Ethan McKee, head chef at the Rock Creek restaurant in Washington, D.C. Or try one of his holiday-inspired ideas:

  • As a side dish
    Sauté 2 chopped shallots and 2 chopped garlic cloves in 1 tbsp. olive oil. Add 2 cups peeled chestnuts, 2 cups brussels sprouts, and 1 cup chicken broth; simmer until broth has evaporated, 12 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 4.

  • As a soup
    Sauté ½ cup each chopped onion and celery in olive oil. Stir in 2 cups peeled chestnuts, 3 cups vegetable broth, 4 sprigs of thyme tied together, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until chestnuts fall apart, about 30 minutes. Remove herbs. Serves 6.

  • As a spread
    Combine 3 cups peeled chestnuts, ½ cup sugar, and ¼ tsp. sea salt in a pan with ¼ cup water. Cook 30 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring often. Mix in ¼ cup rum. Transfer to small jars; refrigerate for up to a month. Serve on bread or over waffles. Makes 4 cups.

In 10 Roasted Chestnuts: 206 Calories, 2 G Fat, 22 MG Vitamin C, 497 MG Potassium

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