This time last year, by chance, we happened across a stretch of hazel trees heavy with nuts and decided that each year we'd try and make an annual family trip to that particularly fruitful spot. We found plenty on the ground and just a few on the trees. When we got home the brown nuts that we collected from the ground were the best, with huge nuts inside when they were cracked open. Of the green nuts from the ground, these were mostly empty or mouldy. I think they'd fallen from the tree before they had ripened enough. And the last nut category ... those picked off the tree ... definitely just not ripe enough and mainly empty! From our basket full of bounty we were left with a small bowl full of nuts. They are delicious straight from the shell, or even better, pop them on a very hot dry pan for three minutes. Set the timer so you don't forget the pan!