Janny de Moor Janny de Moor

Autumn harmony


Serves two:


  • handful of Brussels sprouts
  • 1 parsnip
  • piece of winter carrot
  • piece of celeriac
  • half Hokkaido pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 shallots in rings
  • 125 g chestnut mushrooms
  • half a can of chestnut puree (220 g)
  • plenty of pepper
  • salt
  • thyme

Villages on the  Veluwe, a wooded region in the middle of the Netherlands, welcome visitors in autumn with a market full of seasonal products, accompanied by the local amateur brass band which enthusiastically plays popular music under the falling leaves. Eventually their harmony is rewarded with a hearty meal. Sweet chestnuts predominate, harmonizing with other autumn vegetables. The shiny chestnuts can be found all over the Veluwe. We once collected them diligently. But since the day our whole harvest turned out to be infested by worms we definitely  prefer a can.

Oh yes, if you abhor canned food, you can prepare them yourself, but it is quite a job. First cut a cross in the top, and put them for 15 minutes in an oven preheated at 200˚C. Peel them while warm (the bitter dark skin has to go: difficult!). Thereafter boil in water for 10 minutes. And in this case, finally mash them.

A nice side effect of this dish is that you can put leftover vegetables in it because the above combination is only an idea. After all, every recipe should be open-ended: tastes differ.

  • Clean Brussels sprouts, peel and slice carrots with a vegetable peeler. Make cubes of the peeled celeriac. Remove the seeds from the unwilling pumpkin, make parts, chop off the skin. Wash everything and cook just under water, uncovered in 7-10 minutes al dente. Drain on a sieve, save the cooking liquid. (Leftover Brussels sprouts, carrots, tuber and pumpkin, wrapped in cling film, will keep in the fridge for at least a week.)
  • Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Gently fry the shallots until translucent. Then also fry the wiped whole mushrooms, covered, for 5 minutes.
  • Beat the chestnut puree (freeze the rest!) in a mixing bowl until smooth with 250 ml of vegetable cooking liquid. Season with plenty of salt and pepper. Add to the mushrooms. Cook briefly. Distribute the vegetables nicely over the whole. Heat through under lid. Garnish with thyme.

Wine: white Côtes du Rhône.


Menu suggestion:

  • Starter: Nut salad. Mix finely chopped pointed cabbage with some roughly chopped walnuts, nut oil, lemon juice, pepper, salt, chives.
  • Dessert: Cut a large scrubbed orange into thin slices and divide over 2 plates. A good dash of Cointreau on top and then crumbled cinnamon biscuits.


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