Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Recipe: Chestnut and Aduki Bean Casserole

Yum Yum Yum. I love chestnuts. My love affair with them began with the marron glace (sugared chestnuts) that i was only allowed as a Christmas treat as they were rather expensive. My mum's fantastic chestnut nut roast only came out at Christmas as well. I remember fondly the bag of roasted chesnuts keeping my hands warm, whilst enjoying a freezing January romantic stroll with Nick in Venice. My parents are building a villa in Crete, and last time they were over there they came accross a "Chestnut Festival". Didn't realise it but the northern part of Crete is utterly dedicated to the growing and importing of chestnuts. Anyway, this is a rather fab casserole I have here, and if you can't find aduki beans, kidney beans work just as well.

Chestnut and Aduki bean casserole (serves 4) £1.82

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 knob butter
1 red onion, chopped
2 leeks, sliced thinly
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
200ml red wine
1 sprig rosemary, stalked and chopped
½ tsp dried sage
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp paprika
2 bay leaves
1 tin chopped tomatoes
300ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tin Aduki beans, drained
250g cooked chestnuts, whole
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and black pepper

1. Heat the olive oil and butter and cook the onion, leeks, garlic and carrots for about 10 minutes, or until soft. Add the red wine, herbs and spices, and cook for a couple of minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes, stock, soy sauce and beans and cook with the lid on for 20 minutes.
3. Heat the oven to 180C. Remove lid, add the chestnuts and cook for a further 15 minutes. Transfer mixture into a casserole dish (covered ) and cook in the oven for 30 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven, garnish with fresh parsley and serve.

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