If I am to sit down and eat three courses, I prefer to start with something fairly light, otherwise I find that the amount of food can be overwhelming and I finish off feeling quite uncomfortable – I always think the nicest way of finishing a dish is if you would like just one more mouthful, as then it lingers as a lovely memory. This is a wintry salad using all the ingredients that are around just now – it is fresh and clean and sweet in flavour. If you cannot find castelfranco, it can be replaced by radicchio, as they are members of the same family.
1 small head of castelfranco or radicchio, washed, torn into strips and gently patted dry
2 oranges, peeled, all pith removed and sliced into pinwheels – blood oranges are best for this recipe if you can get them
A handful of hazelnuts
For the dressing
tsp Dijon mustard
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
tbsp red-wine vinegar
150ml/5fl oz hazelnut oil – you can use a gentle-tasting olive oil if you can't find this
Start with the dressing. Place the mustard in a bowl and season gently with salt and a little pepper. Add the vinegar and whisk in the oil.
Now place all the other ingredients into a bowl and spoon over the dressing using a light hand – this salad should definitely not be overdressed.
Taste, adjust the seasoning and serve as soon as possible.