2 tablespoons hazelnuts
8 large free-range eggs, hardboiled and peeled
3 tablespoons hazelnut oil
1⁄2 cup finely chopped ham
1 tablespoon each finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, thyme and rosemary
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
2 egg whites
Roast the hazelnuts, and when cool enough to handle, rub off the skins and finely chop.
Halve the eggs lengthwise. Remove the yolks and place in a small bowl. Mash the yolks then add the hazelnuts, hazelnut oil, ham and the herbs. Season.
Spoon the mixture back into the egg whites, gently packing it in and forming a mound.
To cook: Beat the egg whites in a shallow bowl until frothy. Add the eggs in batches and brush with the egg white to coat.
Heat the vegetable oil in a sauté pan over a medium heat. Place the eggs, yolk side down, in the pan and fry until golden then turn and fry briefly on the other side. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 16 halves
To roast nuts: spread the nuts out in a single layer on a shallow baking pan and place in a preheated 180°C oven. Shake the pan every few minutes until the nuts are golden. Watch carefully as the nuts can become too brown very quickly. Remove and tip into another dish to cool.