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Chicory boats with feta, walnut and pomegranate

Canape / Party food Vegetarian
Serves 15
Prep 20 Min
Cook 15 Min
Assembly Time 10 Min

There are a couple of rules when it comes to party food: the most important, serve food that can be eaten by hand or put in a vessel that can itself be eaten – washing-up, done! The filling for these nibbles can be made two or three hours before assembly, if you want to get ahead. Another option is to serve the filling by itself, as a dip, or spoon it into pre-cooked pastry cases (whisper it: vol-au-vents)


165g walnuts
1 tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp olive oil
flaked sea salt and black pepper
15g coriander leaves
15g dill leaves
15g mint leaves
6 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped (125g)
100g feta, crumbled
165g cream cheese
100g cucumber, grated and liquid squeezed out
130g pomegranate seeds (ie, from about 1 pomegranate)
4 heads red and white baby chicory, leaves separated


1. Heat the oven to 190C (170C fan)/375F. Mix 65g walnuts in a small bowl with the maple syrup, olive oil and a teaspoon of flaked sea salt, then arrange in a single layer on a lined oven tray and bake for 15 minutes, stirring every five minutes, until deeply golden and sticky. Remove, leave to cool for 10 minutes, then roughly chop.

2. Put the remaining 100g walnuts in a food processor with all the herbs and spring onions, and pulse until roughly chopped. Tip into a large bowl, add the feta, cream cheese, cucumber, three-quarters of a teaspoon of flaked sea salt and a good grind of pepper, and mix well. Stir in 120g of the pomegranate seeds.

3. To assemble, divide the filling between the chicory leaves – you’ll need a teaspoon or two of the mix on each leaf – then arrange artfully on a platter. Scatter the chopped walnuts and remaining pomegranate seeds on top, and serve.