Hazelnut oil is not easy to find, so you can use walnut oil instead. Add some soft goat’s cheese and hazelnut bread and you will have a lovely winter lunch.
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
450g/1lb baby leeks
2 tbsp cider vinegar
6 tbsp hazelnut oil (or walnut)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 heads red chicory, separated
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Place the hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast for 10 minutes. Tip them into a clean tea towel and rub off the skins. Once cold, roughly chop and set aside.
Trim the leeks, cut away the roots and the darkest part of the leaves. Remove the tough outer leaves and cut a cross in the pale green sections – to create a mop-like effect. Wash them thoroughly in cold water.
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add the leeks. Return to the boil and cook briskly for 2–3 minutes, or until the leeks are just tender. Drain and cool under cold running water, then pat dry on kitchen paper.
Put the vinegar and oil in a large bowl. Whisk together and season to taste. Add the leeks and chopped hazelnuts. Slice the larger chicory leaves in half lengthways. Add the chicory leaves to the leeks, gently toss and divide between 6 plates. Serve immediately.
Adapted from The Great British Vegetable Cookbook by Sybil Kapoor, National Trust Books, £25.