Roasted shallot and chestnut crostini

Chestnuts are a really useful, versatile ingredient in both sweet and savoury dishes.  Here their sweetness and texture marry perfectly with caramelised, roasted shallots.

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus cooling
  • Cooking time: 30-35 minutes
  • Total time: 45-50 minutes, plus cooling

Serves: 8 as a starter or nibble with drinks

Ingredients

2-3 tbsp olive oil
600g echalion shallots, peeled and halved lengthways
1 tbsp clear honey
1 ciabatta loaf, thinly sliced
200g fresh, roasted and peeled chestnuts (or 200g pack cooked chestnuts)
250g tub ricotta
2 tsp creamed horseradish sauce
25g pack chives, chopped

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6.  Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large, ovenproof pan or roasting tin and fry the shallots, cut-side down, for 2-3 minutes until golden.  Turn them over, then drizzle with the honey and transfer to the oven.  Roast for 20-25 minutes until softened and starting to colour.  Allow to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, spread the bread slices over 2 large baking trays and brush with the remaining oil.  Season and bake for 8-10 minutes swapping the trays over halfway through, until golden and crisp.
  3. Place all but one of the cooled shallots, together with any juices, into a food processor.  Add the chestnuts, ricotta and horseradish sauce and pulse until just combined.  Season, then stir in most of the chives.  Finely slice the reserved shallot.
  4. Spread the chestnut mixture onto the toasts, top each with a little sliced shallot and scatter over the reserved chives.