Posted by: Catherine | April 14, 2009

Arugula, Pear, Roquefort, and Sugared-Cashews Salad

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My friend Scott eats every meal out, and when he comes to our house he can’t help himself. He places his order for dinner, and it’s the same every time: this salad and The Best Coq au Vin. I can’t say that these dishes are the greatest compliments to one another, but each is really, really good in its own right and I do serve them with other things or, in the case of this salad, on its own for a girls’ lunch…unless Scott’s coming. So, for his birthday dinner last week there were no surprises (except for the cake—I made a Chocolate Caramel Tart…stay tuned). You can make this salad without sugaring the cashews, but it’s not a lot of work to do so and they really are delicious with the roquefort and the balsamic. Arugula is an absolute must versus any other green; its pepperiness is just the right balance for the sweetness of the cashews and the balsamic. The roquefort just adds pizzazz and sends everything over the top.

(serves 6)

Arugula for 6, rinsed and perfectly dry
6 oz. roquefort, room temperature, crumbled (you can use blue cheese or gorgonzola)
2 ripe pears, cored and sliced thinly
Sugared cashews, recipe below
Balsamic vinaigrette, recipe below

Top arugula with sliced pears, roquefort, cashews. Add vinaigrette and toss. Divide among plates.

Sugared Cashews
1 egg white
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 t. kosher salt
2 cups roasted unsalted cashews

Heat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchement paper.

Place the egg white in a large stainless steel bowl and whisk until frothy. Slowly whisk in the sugar and salt until thick. Fold in the cashews and toss until well coated.

Transfer the cashews to the baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. Place in the oven and bake, stirring gently every 15 minutes until the meringue covers the nuts with a chewy, pale golden brown coating, 35 to 40 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Then remove the nuts from the pan with a metal spatula and set aside to cool before serving. You can make in advance and store in an airtight container.

Vinaigrette
6 T good olive oil
2 T good balsamic vinegar

Whisk together oil and vinegar.

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Responses

  1. We really enjoy salads that mix arugula, pear and roquefort. I’ve never tried making sugared cashews at home. They sound delicious! I usually don’t allow cashews in the house unless I have a specific recipe because like macadamia nuts they somehow disappear at lightning speed!

  2. Oh this is my favorite combo, I love roquefort.
    Cheers,
    elra

  3. The salad sound AMAZING.
    Would you like to post your upcoming caramel tart on my cake collection event? Details: http://www.familyfriendlyfood.com/cake-collection/.
    Gonna look for your meatloaf recipe now…

  4. That sounds similar to a salad at a restaurant by my office. They make a rustic salad, mixed greens, candied walnuts, strawberries, blue cheese and an awesome balsamic vinaigrette.

    I never knew how to do the candy part of the nut, but now I do!

    Oh, and I added you to my blog roll today!

  5. This looks great. I’m having some friends over for a playdate this week and didn’t know what to make. I’m definitely making this. Thanks.

  6. This would be a perfect salad for my family! We love the combo of pear and Roquefort and the sugared cashews are a wonderful addition!

  7. Love salad with fruit and nuts…great picture!

  8. I have had a similar salad that I love at California Pizza Ktichen. I think they use pecans instead of the cashews. Thanks for the recipe. This is a winner!

  9. Sounds like a recipe where simple good quality ingredients make this dish standout.
    The sugared cashews sound so appealing. I always love a twist. Well done.

  10. I bet this is to die for with the cashwes…it sounds delicious!

  11. I don’t think I’ve eaten arugula before… but it surely looks yummy :)

  12. Catherine, your salad looks great too! Yum! My husband adores Roquefort! Thanks!

  13. the best parts are the cashews! sugar-coated, what a nice crunchy, sweet addition to a refreshing salad! I’ll bet pecans will be really nice as well! heck, why not have both?

  14. OH, this salad with these cashews sound over the top delcious!! MM, the cashews are probably a great snack alone too..

  15. he eats every meal out? one, i’m amazed he afford it, and two, how nice of you to make him food. :)
    great salad, by the way. cashews are great, so sugared cashews must be tremendous. :)

  16. Another recipe that I have to make. This is funny to read that this is the meal he requests everytime.

  17. I can tell that I would LOVE this salad. I just ate lunch and looking at it makes me want a second one!


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