Wonderful winter salad at the Roadhouse!
by Ari Weinzweig
One of my favorite new things on the Roadhouse menu in the last year, this salad has been winning raves from friends, family, longtime regulars and first-time visitors alike. It’s got a killer combination of sweet and savory, crunchy and creamy—a bit of candy on a healthy bed of greens. Feta and fruit with spicy arugula. Crunchy brittle with soft creamy cheese. All dressed gently with a bit of olive oil and vinegar. I could eat this one nearly every day.
The feta here is probably my favorite cheese for putting on salads—crumbled, soft, beautifully-tasty bits of that super-fine, barrel-aged feta we get from near Almyros in the mountains northern Greece. Made from a blend of goat and sheep milk, and nicely aged in birch barrels, it’s not at all salty or sharp. It’s delicious. The creaminess of the cheese is offset by crisp apple slices—it’s good to get some fresh fruit this time of year! All of which are laid atop a bed of fresh arugula, my favorite salad green. And the key, the capstone, the thing that takes this into the realm of remarkable is the addition of that crazy good Cashew Brittle from the Candy Manufactory (the Roadhouse orders it especially for this salad!). Terrific toasted cashews embedded in sheets of caramelized sugar and butter. Crunchy and not too sweet. Broken into small pieces for the salad, it adds just the right amount of sweetness. It’s like using toasted nuts, but better. And more buttery.
You can order the salad to start out any meal at the Roadhouse. We’ve got some great new pepper grinders that make it easier than ever to add a nice dose of that farm-to-table Tellicherry black pepper we use. You can also make the salad into your whole meal—if you want a double sized large one, just let us know. Or you can come in at Happy Hour and pair it with a biscuit sandwich or plate of Black Pepper Fries. Or combine cool and fresh with warm and cooked by having the salad alongside a bowl of either that delicious Southwest Vegetable Soup (I like it with the addition of some pulled pork or smoked chicken—just ask), or some of the heartier Ancho Beef Chile. A great way to brighten a winter day!