This sweet-savory winter dish of roasted chestnuts, onions, and fresh pears is wonderful with meats that are rich in flavor, like lamb or pork.
Yield: 4 servings
2 jars (8 ounces each) whole chestnuts, roasted or plain
2 pears, preferably Comice
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup dry red wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Mince the onion and chop the chestnuts. Core and peel the pears, then cut them into ½-inch dice.
2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat until golden brown. Add the onion and sauté for a minute or so just to get them going. Add the red wine and cover the skillet. Simmer over low heat until the onion is tender and soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chestnuts and simmer the mixture covered 5 minutes more.
3. Uncover the skillet, add the pears, and sauté for a minute or two until the pears are just heated through. Don’t overcook the pears or they will lose all their appealing crunch. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve hot.
Recycling Sweet Potatoes:
If you can’t find chestnuts, you can still make use of the recipe for the Chestnut, Onion, and Pear Sauté—it is a wonderful way to recycle plainly baked sweet potatoes. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into small dice and substitute them for the chestnuts. About 4 medium-size sweet potatoes will equal the amount of chestnuts called for in this recipe.