These nuts have a gorgeous sticky coating that tastes of rich maple syrup, with just a hint of salt to balance out the sweetness. They compliment the naturally sweet beets very well. The final component is a flavorful dressing studded with chives and freshly grated ginger. Delicious.
This would make an elegant first course without any greens, or a great side salad with them. If you're not a walnut fan, try it with pecans or hazelnuts.
Roasted Beet Salad with Maple-Glazed Walnuts
adapted from Stonewall Kitchen Harvest
serves 3-4 as a first course
2 medium yellow and/or red beets
1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon butter
1/2 cup walnut halves
1 tablespoon real maple syrup
salt to taste
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons minced fresh chives
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1. Preheat toaster oven (or oven) to 400. Wrap the beets in a piece of foil and roast in the center of the oven for 45-55 minutes, or until knife-tender. Set aside to cool for a few minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil and the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. When it's melted, add the walnut halves and cook, stirring, for two minutes. Add the maple syrup and salt to taste, and continue cooking and stirring for 3-4 minutes, until the walnuts are glazed. Remove from heat.
3. Whisk together the ginger, chives, vinegar, and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small bowl.
4. Peel the cooled beets with a paring knife. Cut into thin slices. Serve garnished with the walnuts and drizzled with the chive dressing.