Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Warm Goat Cheese Salad

This is a salad that I always think of as 'Alisha's Warm Goat Cheese Salad,' just like I think of Keith's salad as, well, Keith's salad. (Have we never posted about Keith's salad? Shocking! We must rectify that). In any case, I'm not entirely certain from whence this recipe sprang, but it is delicious and relatively simple, and so thanks go to Alisha for introducing it to all of us.

The salad is made with greens - mesclun, mache, the lettuce of your choice - which go marvellously with warmed goat cheese. Arrange your greens on separate plates or bowls, instead of in a large salad bowl, the number depending on how many guests you are feeding.

Choose a mild firm log of goat cheese and cut it into discs with the aid of a knife dipped in hot water (to keep the slices clean).

Coat the goat cheese discs in a mixture of 1/4 cup of plain dried bread crumbs (in the picture above we used panko, Japanese breadcrumbs which are flakier and lighter - the jury's still out as to which is better, though the breadcrumbs coat more thoroughly than the panko) mixed with 1 tbsp of chopped fresh parsley, 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1/4 tsp of ground black pepper.

Bake the coated discs in a 425 degree oven for 8 - 10 minutes, until breadcrumbs have browned, and the goat cheese is still fairly firm, warm and creamy. Mm.

For a dressing, make the classic French vinaigrette: mix 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp dijon mustard, 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Then whisk in 1/2 cup of olive oil - it will become opaque. Coat your greens with the dressing in their separate bowls, and place your disc of goat cheese on top. Devour!

Absolutely delicious. Whoever thought of warming goat cheese was a goaty genius! P.S. We also had portobello (spelling contention?) mushrooms with balsamic and tasty hummus and pita chips on this Wednesday, as you might be able to tell in the photo!

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