Ivy Hung's Candied Hazelnut Sweet Potato Rosti and Watercress With Apricot Curry Vinaigrette
1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, skinned and roasted, coarsely chopped
12 ounces raw sugar
3/4 cup water
3 cups bottled apricot nectar
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
1/2 cup finely chopped dried apricots, finely chopped
12 fresh apricots, peeled and pitted (puree 6; reserve 6 to garnish, diced)
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin, coriander and cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch cayenne pepper
Sea salt and raw sugar to taste
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
1/4 cup hazelnut oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pound watercress, coarse stems removed, chilled
Combine the hazelnuts, raw sugar and water in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook the syrup to the caramel stage over low heat without stirring. With a slotted spoon, remove the caramel-coated hazelnuts. Spread them over a lightly oiled parchment paper on a cooling rack, keeping them separated. Let stand until the caramel is firm. Set aside.
Reduce the apricot nectar over low heat to 1 cup. Off the heat, add the sherry vinegar and dried apricot. Let stand for 20 minutes then strain into a clean bowl. Slowly whisk in the six pureed fresh apricots and grapeseed oil. Season with cumin, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and cayenne pepper. Adjust seasoning to taste with sea salt and raw sugar. Chill and reserve.
Peel and coarsely grate the sweet potatoes. (It is important to grate the sweet potato just before cooking.) In a mixing bowl, toss the potato with the candied hazelnuts. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet with hazelnut oil. On a work surface, form the hazelnuts-potato mixture into individual rostis (small pancakes). Pan-fry over medium heat until golden on both sides, turning once, and adding more oil if needed.
To serve, spoon a generous circle of the vinaigrette around the outside of eight 11-inch plates. Set the watercress sprigs on it. Place fresh-off-the-skillet hazelnut sweet potato rostis in the center of each plate. Drizzle additional vinaigrette on the rostis. Garnish with diced fresh apricots. Makes 8 servings as an appetizer or a light main dish.
Sarah Stegner's Savory Hazelnut and Asparagus Strudel
1 pound sliced onions
3 tablespoons butter
12 sheets phyllo dough
1/4 cup melted butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds asparagus, medium-sized, tough stems removed, blanched
2 1/4 cups hazelnuts, skins removed, chopped and toasted
1 1/2 cups Gruyere cheese, grated
Hazelnut-Citrus Baby Greens Salad (recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the 3 tablespoons of butter. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until they are caramelized. Season with salt and pepper. Cool.
Carefully brush one sheet of phyllo with warm melted butter. Place a second sheet of phyllo over the first and brush with butter. Repeat until the stack is four sheets thick. Spread one-third of caramelized onions along edge of long side of phyllo. Place one-third of asparagus over onions and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle one-third of hazelnuts and one-third of Gruyere over asparagus. Roll phyllo so the asparagus is wrapped in the center. Place roll on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush the outside of the roll with melted butter.
Repeat with remaining ingredients for a total of 3 rolls. Bake 20 minutes in lower third of oven. Cut each roll diagonally into 3 equal slices. Serve immediately with salad, 2 slices per serving.
Makes 12 appetizer servings.
Hazelnut-Citrus Baby Greens Salad
6 cups baby greens
Hazelnut-Citrus Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
3/4 cup sliced tangerine segments (catch and reserve any juice for dressing)
About 1/4 cup sliced hazelnuts, toasted
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
In a large bowl, gently toss greens with Hazelnut-Citrus Vinaigrette. Divide salad between 12 plates. Garnish salad with tangerines, hazelnuts and chives.
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup hazelnuts
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/2 cup mild olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Blend juice, vinegar, honey, hazelnuts and thyme together in a blender. Slowly drizzle in olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.