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Cherry and Baby Beet Salad with Spiced Nuts

Serves 4–6

Ingredients

For the Spiced Nuts

  • 2 cups raw mixed nuts
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup cherry wine

For the Salad

  • 4 baby gold beets
  • 4 baby red beets
  • olive oil, to coat
  • 8 ounces fromage blanc
  • Half-and-half
  • 1 pound mixed tart and sweet cherries, pitted and halved
  • K pound pea shoots
  • 2 cups spiced nuts
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Black Star Farms Cherry Verjus and extra virgin olive oil to finish

Preparation

For the Spiced Nuts

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Toast nuts in a sauté pan over medium high heat for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often. Add butter and spices to nuts and stir or toss to incorporate. Deglaze with cherry wine, stirring well, and cook until liquid is evaporated. Transfer nut mixture to a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast nuts for 10 to 12 minutes or until they are dry. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

For the Salad

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat the beets lightly with olive oil, wrap with aluminum foil and roast in the oven for 45 minutes or until easily pierced with a paring knife. Remove beets from foil, cool for 10 minutes then peel.

Whip the fromage blanc in a blender, slowly adding half-and-half until consistency is smooth and volume increases by one-third. Season to taste with salt and pepper and place in pastry bag.

Fill half of the cherries with the whipped fromage blanc and cut the beets in half. Assemble the cherries and beets on a serving platter, garnish with pea shoots and spiced nuts, season lightly with salt and pepper and drizzle lightly with cherry verjus and olive oil.