It is time for foraging and preparing for winter!
Well, not really, as we have supermarkets, but it is still a nice way to spend your autumn afternoons: Breathing fresh air and looking at the colorful leaves.
So go out and collect some freshly fallen sweet chestnuts! Bring them home and then follow this recipe for a local Specialty from Palatine (region South-Western Germany, known for wine and an un-sexy dialect).
It’s Vegan, it’s seasonal, it’s healthy and most of all, it is super satisfying as a topping whenever your food is missing a je-ne-sais-quoi to make it perfect.
Mini-Challenge: how many of these ingredients can you forage or find in the garden?
- 2 big hand fulls of sweet chestnuts, freshly collected. Try to get nice, fat ones. If there are none where you live, buy pre-boiled ones. Yes, boiled.
- 1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup almonds (you can also use ground almonds from the baking section)
- 2 tsp dried coriander seeds
- 1 Tbs dried mint leaves (in an emergency, gut a mint-teabag, unused of course)
- 1 tsp dried lovage
- 1 tsp dried marjoram (or a little less oregano)
- 2 Tbs (or to taste) salt
Measurements are approximates, just see how you like your mix best.
- Score your chestnuts and boil them for 7 minutes. Then, as soon as they are cool enough to handle, peel them and try to get as much fuzzy skin off as possible. Chop them up with a knife or use a food processor, but only pulse. We want crumbs, not powder.
- Put your chestnut crumbs on a baking tray and toast in the oven, or leave them in a warm, dry place on some baking paper. It is important to make sure your chestnuts are perfectly dry, as we are making a product meant to keep in the cupboard and we don’t want any mold developing.
- Place your hazelnuts and almonds in a food processor (or use a knife and chopping board) and chop until you got crumbs (not powder!).
- Use mortar and pestle to grind all your herbs up together.
- Throw all ingredients in a jar that you can close airtight and shake until everything is nicely combined. Taste your mix and adjust your ingredients until you are happy with the result.
This is what your end-result should look like.
I love this sprinkled toasted bread with (vegan) butter and fresh tomato slices. YUM!
Salad topping. YUM!
Whenever your food is lacking salt. YUM!
And this makes a perfect gift for sophisticated people, who can buy anything they want, which makes it really difficult to gift them anything they will really appreciate.