Autumn is my favourite season. The days are clear and crisp, there’s a riot of colour in the garden and there are some sensational fruits and veggies begging to be turned into fab meals for the family who, during autumn seem to be hungrier than ever. So we couldn’t resist making a delicious, warming afternoon tea using fresh ricotta and chestnuts which are in season now in Australia. It is guaranteed to fill up hungry tummies. Chestnuts are a beautiful food, which, sadly aren’t as popular in Australia compared to Europe or the U.S. Silly really as they are quite delicious, readily available and can be used in a multitude of ways.
Please take a look at this video we’ve prepared to show how easy it can be to get kids cooking. We encourage you to get busy in the kitchen with your kids and celebrate all that is good about seasonal eating and share your love of food and cooking. Enjoy!
- 1 basket, fresh ricotta*
- 1 handful fresh chestnuts
- 1 handful fresh thyme leaves
- Orange infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil*
- Salt and Pepper Crostini, savoury biscotti or biscuits to serve
- Preheat your oven to 180C.
- Score each chestnut with a small, sharp knife and place onto a baking tray and roast until the outer skin has cracked and peeled away slightly. This will take around 20-30 minutes.
- Remove, allow to cool and then peel off the outer skin and inner pellicle.
- Chop into small pieces and set aside.
- At the same time, place ricotta on another flat baking tray, drizzle with the oil, sprinkle the thyme leaves on top and season with some salt and pepper.
- Place into the same oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until ricotta starts to turn golden on the edges.
- Remove, drizzle with a little more of the oil, sprinkle the chestnuts on top and serve immediately. You could drizzle with a little honey if you wish.
*Available from any good Delicatessen
Thanks to the fabulous Stefano Manfredi for giving me some fresh Aussie Chestnuts from the team at Growlers Creek Grove in Wandiligong, Victoria. We used both De Coppi Marone and Purdon’s Pride varieties for this recipe. And check out this site for some of Stefano’s recipes using the humble chestnut…
Until next time….