As opposed to hazelnut butter, where you need to use a food processor for a good few minutes to macerate the nuts to release their oils, chestnuts grind to no more than a powder due to their comparatively low oil content. Although easier in something with a larger blade, with a bit of patience, the butter/dressing is achievable via a handheld/stick blender.
The amounts below are based on a 500g pack of sprouts and on a standard packet of pre-packed chestnuts from Merchant Gourmet which are widely available at supermarkets. Of course you can always prepare your own fresh; just match the weight of the chestnuts with the amount of oil; tasting the dressing to achieve the balance between the salt, garlic and acidity.
Ingredients (serves 5-6 as a side dish)
2 cloves of garlic
Juice of 1 orange
1-2 tsp apple cider vinegar
200ml olive oil
Preheat the oven to 180 (fan)/200 (conventional)
- Wash the sprouts and lop off the fibrous stalky bit at the base. Slice each sprout in half and throw into a large baking tin with 1-2 tablespoons of oil. Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly golden; check and stir halfway through.
- Whilst the sprouts are cooking, whizz the chestnuts in a food processor and grind into a fine powder. It should take 2-3 minutes.
- With the blade still going, add the garlic and two good pinches of salt, then the orange juice, apple cider vinegar and lastly pour in the oil. Let everything blend for a couple of minutes until you have a smooth, runny paste the consistency of softened butter.
- When the sprouts are done, simply stir a couple of tablespoons of the chestnut butter through and return to the oven for a few minutes to warm through before serving.