Kent Cobnut, Avocado and Pepper Salad

If you love cobnuts, think yourself lucky you live where you do. It seems that these are hard to come by and very expensive elsewhere in the country. Having been brought up with them in the garden it never occurred to me that they are a rarity elsewhere. In fact we now have a cobnut tree of our own, grown from a nut from the tree in my childhood garden. The tree at my childhood home was prolific and my father used to bag up hundreds of the nuts to share out between my brother and myself. My Official Taster (aka my husband) is allergic to them, to the extent that he has to carry an adrenalin injection in case of “unintentional poisoning”. I leave you to come to your own conclusion as to why my father gave me so many cobnuts to take home!

Ingredients - serves 2

8oz (225g) Kent cobnuts 1 large avocado
3 red peppers, grilled, peeled and roasted (or buy ready prepared from the delicatessen) 1 tablespoon hazelnut oil
2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 bunch watercress, trimmed and washed  


  1. Shell the cobnuts, spread out on a baking tray and bake at 300F/150C/gas mark 2 for 20 minutes to an hour, depending on how old and dry the nuts are. They will go soft, then gradually shrink until they are hard and lightly browned. Take them out of the oven before they burn, and leave to cool.
  2. Roughly chop the cobnuts.
  3. Slice the roasted peppers and avocado.
  4. Cut the watercress into short lengths.
  5. Mix the nuts, avocado and watercress in a bowl.
  6. Whisk the oils and vinegar together and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  7. Mix gently with the salad and serve straight away.

This is particularly good serves with fresh crusty bread or an olive and sun dried tomato ciabatta.