Enjoy cocktail hour with blue cheese, candied walnut and fig bites

These are really elevated by candied pecans, however you can also substitute roasted pecans for a faster way to get the job done.


50g Pecans

1 tsp fennel seeds

2 tablespoons caster sugar

1 tablespoon water

10g unsalted butter

Two heads of red chicory. Roots trimmed, leaves separate

50g of blue cheese such as cambozola, gorgonzola, or roquefort

To drizzle honey or truffle honey (optional).

  • Pre-heat the oven at 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Roast the pecans for eight minutes on a baking sheet. Let cool.
  • Toast the fennel seeds for about a minute in a small, nonstick skillet on medium heat. Use a mortar and pestle to grind the mixture and then set it aside.
  • Place the mixture in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the water and sugar. Stirring occasionally, heat the mixture until it is bubbling and sugar has dissolved. To make a golden caramel, add the butter.
  • The pecans can be chopped very finely. Add the fennel seeds to the saucepan and stir until the caramel has melted. Place the pecans on a piece of baking parchment and sprinkle some sea salt.
  • Chop any large chicory leaves into halves and arrange them on a platter. Each one should be topped with some blue cheese and a slice each of fig. Finally, scatter the pieces with a handful of pecans. Also, a drizzle of honey is a nice addition.

GET AHEADCandied pecans can be made up to 48 hours ahead and stored at room temperature in an airtight container.