Held at Andaz, I enjoyed a unique selection of salads crated by Chef Cat Cora (the first and only female Iron Chef) including the delicious Salt Roasted Beet Salad with Roasted Almond Vinaigrette, a Almond Crusted Tuna Tataki Salad with Avocado Tzatziki, a Warm Quinoa Salad with Grilled Chicken, a Greek Chopped Salad and an incredible Roasted Apples with Vanilla Gelato from the Andaz. All of the unique and flavorful dishes were complemented with a bit of crunch and boast of flavor thanks to the variety of Almond Accents. This line includes flavors such as Honey Roasted Cranberry, Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper, Sweet Roasted with Pomegranate, Oven Roasted, Honey Roasted, and Oven Roasted with No Salt that not compliment salads but can be a great addition to yogurt, oatmeal, rice dishes or enjoyed as a delicious protein and vitamin E-rich snack while on-the-go.
Processed by Paramount Farms in the San Joaquin Valley of northern California, Almond Accents are available at all major grocers. Here are a few of my favorite salad recipes developed by Cat Cora.
Salt Roasted Beet Salad with Roasted Almond Vinaigrette
Cat'??s method for salt roasting beets produces evenly cooked beets that are easy to peel. Roasted almonds add a unique nutty flavor and light creaminess to the dressing.
Time to table: 1 hour and 50 minutes
Makes 4 servings
1/4 cup Original Oven Roasted Wonderful Almond Accents
1 lb. red or gold beets*, unpeeled, greens removed 1 cup salt (for roasting beets)
2 heads white endive
4 cups arugula or lettuce mix
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
6 tablespoons Original Oven Roasted Wonderful Almond Accents
1/2 cup light olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar (or white balsamic or champagne)
1 tablespoon chopped shallot
1 tablespoon thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
pinch of sugar
1) Preheat oven to 400. Pour 1 cup salt on a baking sheet. Place unpeeled beets on top of salt. Roast for 1 hour or until fork-tender. Cool and peel. Cut into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch dice.
2) Whirl dressing ingredients in a blender until smooth. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons water if dressing is too thick. Set aside.
3) Trim endive ends, cut in half lengthwise, separating the leaves for each half, but re-forming each as half a head of endive. Arrange endive, arugula and beets on four plates. Drizzle salads with almond vinaigrette.
4) Top each salad with one-fourth of the blue cheese and 1 tablespoon Wonderful Almond Accents.
*Or use purchased cooked beets or canned beets.
Greek Chopped Salad
Toasted garlic adds a flavorful twist to traditional Greek salad along with salt and pepper almonds for extra crunch.
Time to table: 15 minutes
Makes 6-8 servings
1/2 cup Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper Wonderful Almond Accents
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano (or 2 teaspoons dried)
freshly ground black pepper
6 large ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 English cucumber, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
1) In a small skillet over medium-high heat, sautÃ© garlic in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, stirring often, until garlic is caramelized and slightly crunchy. Be careful not to burn.
2) In a large bowl, whisk together remaining olive oil, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper.
3) Add tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, feta and olives. Mix well.
4) Stir in caramelized garlic and Wonderful Almond Accents just before serving.
For more information, please visit: http://www.almondaccents.com/
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