These little seasonal gems are just starting to arrive in the market. While they come in just about any form, whole and fresh is the best way to garner the most flavor. To prepare, create an "x" in the pointy top with a paring knife and lightly coat the outside of the shell with a touch of olive oil. Place on a non-metalic dish or sheet of aluminum foil in a low oven, around 275 degrees F. Roast for about 45 minutes or until the "x" splits open and you smell the aroma. Let cool and gently peel back the shell to expose the meat of the chestnut.
Use in soups, on salads, with savory entrees, like risotto or rack of lamb or toss into a batch of roasted root vegetables.