by Ann Creber
What a gorgeous time of year it is in our Dandenong Ranges! We owe a debt of gratitude to those earlier settlers who planted the deciduous trees which now offer the glory we enjoy every Autumn.
They provide not just beauty, but food as well, as the many wayside chestnut stalls remind us. Our Annual Chestnut Festival that was held in Kalorama Memorial Park on the 1st May this year always provides an opportunity to taste, buy and find ideas for using them in many dishes. I worked as Food Consultant for the Chestnut Growers for a number of years and was amazed to learn how versatile they are as an ingredient. (They also freeze well in the shell!)
I love risotto and this recipe takes advantage of chestnuts and the mushrooms that are so readily available now.
3 - 4 serves
NOTE This is quite a versatile recipe. To add a little more colour, I sometimes dice and saute half a red capsicum with the other vegetables. A little dry white wine can be added to the liquid for flavour and diced roast or BBQ chicken or diced ham can be added towards the end of cooking time. If chestnuts are not in season, some browned pine nuts may be substituted.
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