Happy Winter Solstice!! This savoury Chestnut Loaf topped with a Rosemary Apricot Glaze is what I’ll be packing over to my family Christmas Dinner. I wanted something that smelt and tasted like the festive season it is, and this loaf couldn’t have been more on point. It’s full of goodies including roasted chestnuts, butternut squash, organic cranberries, carrot, potato, red onion, cremini mushrooms, a tasty blend of spices and more. I knew I had a good one when there was a wee fight between my taste testers over who ate the last slice during the trial run a few weeks ago. Yasss…just what I like to hear – more please! Well, today marks the start of a much needed break. The pups & I wish you ALL a Merry Christmas. Be safe + stay warm. We’ll see you soon.
*There are a few different ways to roast the butternut squash and chestnuts – both can roast at the same time. The way I did it was preheat the oven to 400*F. Cut the squash in half, quarters, or whatever will give you about 1cup once cubed. Brush the fleshy, not peel, side of the squash with a little olive oil. Place cut side up onto a small baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for about 30-40mins until tender.
Once the squash is in the oven, prepare the chestnuts. Use a small sharp knife and carefully cut a good-sized cross into the skin of the curved side of each nut. Face the uncut side of the chestnut down onto a small baking sheet or cast-iron pan. Place in the oven and bake for about 30mins until fragrant and the cut skins are peeling back. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Peel the skins off and roughly chop, or use your fingers to crumble the roasted chestnut ‘meat’. *If any chestnuts are dark in colour, discard – it could be mold.
The perfect addition to a holiday feast! I wanted something that smelt and tasted like the festive season it is, and this loaf couldn’t have been more on point. It’s savoury, fragrant, and full of delicious veg.
- 1/2 cup dried apricots
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp aged white wine vinegar
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1 cup roasted butternut squash – cut into 1/2inch cubes
- 1 cup roasted chestnuts – peeled & roughly crumble the nut ‘meat’
- 1/3 cup organic dried cranberries
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup white potato, grated
- 1 cup carrot, grated
- 1/2 cup cremini mushrooms, grated
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cardamon
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1 tbsp tapioca flour/starch
Add all of the ingredients to a small pot. Place the pot over med./low heat, and bring the water to a gentle boil.
Once the water has reduced by nearly half, remove from heat. *Mine reduced within 15mins. Take out the rosemary and pour the remaining ingredients into a high speed blender. Blend on high until smooth.
Set aside until ready to use.
Place the dried cranberries into a small bowl and pour hot water over top until they’re covered by about 1/2inch. Allow to soak at least 15mins. Drain the water off and set the cranberries aside.
In another bowl, add the breadcrumbs, almond flour, and tapioca flour. Stir well and set aside.
In a large skillet over med. heat, add 1&1/2tbsp of the olive oil, chopped red onion, and cranberries. Sauté until the onions are fragrant and tender – about 5mins. Remove from heat and use a wooden spatula or spoon to scrape the sautéed onion and cranberries into a small bowl. Set aside.
Place the skillet back on the stove over med. heat and add the remaining 1&1/2tbsp of olive oil. Bring up to temperature, and then add the grated potato, carrot, cremini mushrooms, garlic, thyme, oregano, cinnamon, cardamon, sea salt + pepper. Stirring often, cook for 10-12mins, or until just shy of tender – reduce the heat if necessary. Remove from heat.
Preheat the oven to 350*F. Line a 9x5inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
Add the sautéed veggies *(not the onion & cranberries) to a food processor. Blend on high for 1-2mins, until everything is combined and finely chopped. Add the chestnuts, and pulse a few times more.
Pour the sautéed veggie mixture into a large bowl. Add the sautéed onion, cranberries, and the cubed butternut squash. Gently fold until evenly combined. Slowly add the flour/bread crumb mixture, folding as you go. Be sure not to over fold – just until combined.
Carefully pour the loaf mixture into the prepared loaf pan being sure to get into each corner. Applying light pressure, use a spatula or spoon to evenly smooth out the top. Next, brush the top of the loaf with a generous amount of the Rosemary Apricot Glaze. Once evenly brushed over, use a skewer to poke holes over the top of the loaf – allows moisture to escape.
Place the loaf in the oven and bake for 40-45mins, or until the edges are browning.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15mins. Pull up by the parchment paper to remove the loaf from the pan, and cut into desired size slices. Serve warm.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. Keeps for 3-5days.