Jammy Braised Chestnuts With Fresh Tomatoes & Herbs
This unique and satisfying Greek vegan recipe for jammy braised chestnuts with fresh tomatoes and herbs is so easy and elegant it will surprise both you and your guests, whether they are vegan or not. Chestnut recipes in the Greek diet abound. Indeed, chestnuts are a major Mediterranean diet ingredient, used in stuffings, soups, as a snack, and also dried and ground into a flour that helped people survive during times of duress. This is one of my most beloved Greek recipes, and one that finds a place not only on my holiday table, say as a perfect Greek vegan Thanksgiving recipe or Christmas show-stopper, but also as a midweek sauce for pasta. It’s delicious and hearty.
- 4 medium red onions peeled, halved and thickly sliced
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin Greek olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves in brine or 4 regular garlic cloves
- 4 medium firm ripe tomatoes (or canned plum tomatoes)
- 2 packets sous vide vacuum-packed chestnuts, blanched as per package directions
- Sea salt to taste
- 2/3 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons petimezi
- 1 – 2 tablespoons red wine or balsamic vinegar to taste
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Pinch of dried Greek oregano
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 3 – 4 sprigs dried thyme sprigs
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste or thick tomato puree
Heat the olive oil in a deep, wide skillet over medium heat and cook the onions until deeply caramelized, about 20 minutes.
While the onions are cooking, chop the garlic and set aside. Chop the tomatoes.
Add the garlic, then chestnuts to the onions and stir gently. Mix in the tomatoes and stir around with a wooden spoon. Season with salt. Add the petimezi and balsamic. Add the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Add the oregano, thyme and tomato paste. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes, until the mixture is thick and almost jammy and all the flavors have melded beautifully together. Serve!