When I think of crunchy things in salad, I typically think of croutons, shaved carrots, shredded cabbage – not cashew brittle. That is, not until I ordered the roasted beet salad at 900 Wall, a favorite restaurant of ours in Bend.
First I tried to re-create the salad at home with roasted beets, crumbled nuts, blue cheese and a drizzle of honey. I thought that the sweetness of honey and crunch of nuts would mimic the nut brittle – but, no magic. The key to this salad is the brittle.
I’ve always enjoyed the salty sweet crunch of nut brittle, but assumed it was complicated to make. But, guess what? It’s not. Make this recipe and, as a bonus you’ll have lots of brittle left over, which your friends and neighbors won’t mind (if you decide to share).
Once you have the brittle, making the beet salad takes almost no effort. Just roast the beets in their skin – so easy to peel once they’re tender – 2 medium size beets per person, wrapped in foil then roasted at 400°F for an hour. Peel the beets once their cool enough to handle or pop them in the fridge until the next day.
Slice the beets and arrange on a plate with a generous handful of crumbled blue cheese (I used Saint Agur because it was on sale at the market), pinch of salt and swirl of olive oil, sprinkle of coarsely chopped brittle and you’re ready to eat. We’ve had this salad with the beets cold from the fridge or at room temperature – it’s delicious either way.
- 8 medium beets about 1 1/2 pounds
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
- 2 ounces cashew brittle coarsely chopped (see Recipe Notes for recipe)
Preheat oven to 400°F
Wash and trim tops and bottoms of beets and wrap in foil. Place foil wrapped beets in a glass baking dish to catch any drips. Roast for one hour or until beets are tender. Remove from oven.
When beets are cool enough to handle, peel (using a paper towel makes it easy) and thinly slice. Arrange 1/4 of the beet slices, slightly overlapping in a spiral on one serving plate. Repeat with remaining slices.
To finish, drizzle each salad with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and 1/4 of the blue cheese and cashew brittle. Serve.