Monday, 7 November 2016

Harvest Monday - chestnut terrine

Brrr, we've finally got some really chilly weather...I even got hailed on the other day. It's about time too, we need to get rid of the nasties over winter (last winter was really mild and so this summer we had a major slug problem).
On the harvest front, I've mainly been using up what I'd already picked, though I've harvested a few more peppers from the lean-to. I haven't cooked them up yet and am deciding what to make. Any suggestions? There's still more to pick as well...I need to keep an eye on them to make sure they don't start rotting on the plants.
I've also picked a load of kale and chard from the allotment. Nice dark colours.
I saved some seeds from a little pumpkin recently. Normally I don't bother because when I've baked them they've not turned out that well and just been rather fibrous. But these seeds looked so plump I decided to give it another try. So a quick internet search suggested that you just basically add salt plus whatever flavours you fancy. I decided on freshly ground cumin seeds and garam masala. Here they are (before baking) spread on a baking sheet, mixed with oil and the salt / spices.
And afterwards...10 minutes on gas mark 4. They're very yummy...I'm converted!
The oven was already on because I'd made a chestnut terrine....a first for me. This took a couple of evenings to work up to because it takes ages to prepare the chestnuts. I rinsed them off first.
Sliced each one down the middle, 'cause otherwise they burst when cooked.
Boiled them for about 20 minutes until soft, then peeled. Actually I mainly scooped out the flesh with a little spoon. If you keep the chestnuts warm after cooking, the skins peel off easily (this has worked for me in the past) but this time round they went cool so the skins had stuck fast.
Hmm, I don't seem to have a picture of the scooped-out innards but there was a big old bowl of them. So looking for chestnut recipes, I found the terrine one in a book. It seemed pretty easy, but not being one to follow recipes to the letter I adapted it for the veggies and quantities I had available.
My version was (roughly):
- a cup of fresh breadcrumbs
- 500g of mixed broccoli and leafy greens (cooked and chopped). I had these already cooked, leftover from another meal.
- 300g cooked chestnuts
- 4 tbsp natural yogurt
- 2 tbsp grated mature cheddar
- 3 eggs
- shake of nutmeg
- crunch of pepper
Once you've got all the component parts it's really easy - just mix them all well in a bowl. Line a loaf tin with baking parchment and spoon in the mixture, flattening it into the corners. I'd used larger quantities than the recipe in the book so split my mixture across two tins. You then put the tins in a roasting tray or similar and fill up the tray with boiled water, to about halfway up the side of the tins. Cook for about 25 minutes on gas mark 4. We had a lot going on in the kitchen at the time so I didn't get any photos of the process, whoops.
But here's the finished result, straight out the oven, needing to cool a bit.
We had two of these...they look pretty good.
And sliced well and taste nice too

It seems like the kind of recipe that can be adapted in loads of different ways so I'll be making something similar soon. Very soon in fact, I have another 500g cooked chestnuts still to use (they're in the fridge) plus a second big tub that needs cooking too. Maybe I'll add a few peppers into the mix next time, and some of that kale.


Thanks for reading, I'm linking in as usual with Harvest Monday hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres



  1. I've never cooked chestnuts, interesting.

    1. Hi sue, there's probably a better way of doing it than I have!

  2. That looks like a lot of work to cook chestnuts! As for peppers, I love to roast them with onions and eat with pretty much anything.

    1. Hi Julie, yes it was a lot of work! They're very tasty though, and a free source of food / protein, which I'm always happy about :) Mmm roast pepper sounds good.

  3. I've never cooked with chestnuts either. I don't see them often over here either. I'm ready for cool weather too. We've had a warm fall, and like you say we need cold weather to get rid of some bugs. That kale is a lovely dark color. I need to cut some of ours.

    1. Hi Dave, Norfolk seems pretty good for sweet chestnut trees, so I guess we're lucky here.
      Hope you got some nice kale (actually, I'm sure you did ).

  4. That looks like a really tasty dish, although all that work with the chestnuts is a bit daunting. I think that once you get the hang of it though that the peeling process isn't so bad.

    1. Thanks Michelle, yes hopefully I'll be a bit more efficient next time. Maybe I'll do a smaller batch so I can peel them while they're warm.

  5. I only peeled chestnuts once and it took ages...maybe they weren't cooked enough? I put up some roasted peppers in oil which are very tasty, and look good too!
    Kathy (Sorry I seem to be anonymous!)

    1. Hi Kathy. Yeah it does take ages to peel them!...I spent a whole evening at it, so yours might not have been undercooked. But I know the key for me a few years back was to keep them in the warm water whilst I peeled a few at a time - the skins came off really easily. I'll give it another go soon and see how they turn out next time.
      Roasted peppers are a great idea, yum.