Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts

Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts Recipe

My husband Lulu and I are leaving our baby with her grandparents tomorrow and will visit Brussels, Belgium. To mark the occasion, I cooked Brussels sprouts with châtaignes pelées au feu (peeled, fire-roasted peeled chestnuts). Sautéed with shallots in butter, Brussels sprouts have a starchy texture similar to the chataignes and make a wonderful side dish.

For added color, I added sun-dried tomatoes.


Yields: 6 servings

1½ pounds Brussels sprouts
2 teaspoons honey
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
1 cup roasted chestnuts, quartered
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 sprig tarragon
6 sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil, as needed
2 tablespoons salted butter


Prepping the Brussels sprouts:

Trim the ends of the Brussels sprouts. Using a parin gknife, make a deep criss-cross incision at the bottom of the vegetables. That way the vegetable still holds together and is cooked through.

Place them in a small pot and cover with just enough cold water to barely cover the vegetables. Bring to a full boil, then lower the heat to medium-high. Cook for 12 minutes. Drain and remove as much liquid as possible. Transfer to an ice water bath. Drain one more time and cut them in half.

Frying the shallots: Heat the oil in a large pan. Once the oil is hot, add the shallots and fry until golden brown. Transfer to a plate, leaving as much shallot-flavored oil in the pan for the vegetables. Set aside.

Assembly time:

Heat the oil one more time. Once the oil is hot, add a sprig of tarragon and the Brussels sprouts. Cook until tender and caramelized, stirring often. Add the chestnuts, butter and sun-dried tomatoes. Toss well until the sun-dried tomatoes are shiny. Drizzle with honey and season with salt and pepper. Add ¼ cup water. Scrape the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon. Cook until the liquid evaporates. 

Serve immediately.

Bon appétit!


I used sun-dried tomatoes that need to be rehydrated in a bit of butter.

Boiling the Brussels sprouts helps to make them more digestible.

You can find 420-gram jars of fire-roasted chestnuts in most French supermarkets. In the US, I'm always able to find them in the Bay Area in Asian markets as well.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on October 16, 2012.


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