The leaves of chicory (also called whitlo of or witloof), like those of Baby Little Gem, were made to be canapé vessels, as they have a natural hollow. You may like to make a platter up using alternating red and green chicory for a lovely effect.
You can use pre-cooked beetroot to save time, but beets you cook yourself will be much nicer When they’re in season, use golden or striped beets, and even blood oranges, for a different look.
Flatten the nuts with the side of a large knife to crush them a little and mix these and the olive oil into the orange mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide the fromage frais between the chicory leaves and spoon in the orange salad, then add the beetroot dice, leaving any beetroot juice behind as it won’t look good dribbling down your chin and on to your best shirt. Sprinkle with the chives.
© 2005 Peter Gordon. All rights reserved.