Thursday, March 03, 2011

Fun Salad Moment

Despite some rather temperate weather in Richmond, I've been sticking with flavors and textures that are comforting and winter-like — even salads. A recent addition to the repertoire has been a beet salad with toasted almonds and goat cheese. On their own, all the ingredients are terrific, but put together they sing like a chorus in the groove.

The real star of the show is the almonds, though. I start with a hot, dry pan and add the almonds mixed with some coarse salt, a touch of cumin, and chili. I let them toast for a few minutes over a medium flame and then add a touch of olive oil to coat them. The flame should go down, and the almonds toast until brown. The flavors will meld and provide the perfect complement to the beets, greens, goat cheese and a drizzle of balsamic.

In the end, it will be one of the simplest and best salads you've ever had, almost a meal-like compliment to roast chicken or salumi and cheeses.