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Char-grilled chicory with blue cheese, honey and hazelnuts

By Jen G on 18th Sep, 2019

Char-grilled chicory with blue cheese, honey and hazelnuts

Method

  1. First put the orange juice and zest, olive oil, honey, leaves from the thyme and the salt and pepper into a big ol mixing bowl and muddle the lot together with a whisk or a fork.
  2. Cut all the heads of chicory in half down the middle, or quarters if they are big. Wash and dry thoroughly, discarding any tough manky brown leaves.
  3. Now, if you have one of those funky frying pans with the griddle lines on it then this is your beast. If not, any heavy bottomed fry pan will do.
  4. Heat the pan to smoking hot then turn down to three quarters heat.
  5. Place halves or quarters of the chicory on the griddle pan. Dry. No oil. Do not fiddle with it. Allow the cut surface to get a nice brown char on it, flip over and allow the outside to get a little tan. While still hot put straight into the bowl of dressing. The hot leaves will suck it up like a thirsty sponge. Slurp. Do this in batches so as not to over crowd the pan.
  6. Once all the chicory is in the bowl toss it around a bit and place to one side, still in the dressing. Go have a nice little sherry or something. Come back in twenty minutes or so.
  7. By now the leaves will have cooled in the dressing and the chicory will have let out its own sexy tasting liquid, mingling with the honey etc.
  8. Pile all the chicory heads up on a big plate or platter, leaving the dressing in the bowl.

Recipe Notes

Can't find chicory? You could use heads of little gem lettuce the same way.

Start the meal with a bang and pair this with a bottle of the subtly pink Lindauer Special Reserve NV or the properly rose L'Extra par Langlois Cremant de Loire - both about £10 a botle if you buy 2 at Majestic. No need to tell your guests that you got them on special offer…

salad  / nuts  / gluten free  / dinner party  / cheese  / buffet
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