Sunday, September 07, 2014

Mixed Greens with Goat Cheese Rounds & Grapefruit Balsamic

This wonderful salad is my version of Alice Waters' Goat Cheese Salad. For years, I've wanted to make a salad with baked or fried goat cheese rounds, but for some odd reason, it's seemed intimidating to me. Perhaps I was afraid the cheese would melt and ooze all over the place? Anyway, I am past that fear now and this is a salad that's terrific to serve guests to give them a little something special. By the way, if you are unfamiliar with Alice Waters and Chez Panisse, I would urge you to educate yourself. Alice Waters is one of my food heroes, a pioneer of the movement back toward using fresh, local foods that are in season and are sustainably produced. Chez Panisse, her Berkeley restaurant, is on my foodie bucket list. If you want to treat yourself to a new cookbook, her The Art of Simple Food is a good choice.

Mixed Greens with Goat Cheese Rounds & Grapefruit Balsamic
1/2 c. good quality olive oil
4 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf, crumbled
4 oz. goat cheese, cut into 4 rounds 
1/2 c. breadcrumbs/panko
2 tbsp. grapefruit balsamic
Salt & pepper
6 c. mixed greens

Marinate cheese in 1/4 c. oil with thyme & bay leaf for 2-12 hours. Place on a small baking sheet and chill thoroughly. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease a small baking dish with the oil from the marinade. Coat the chilled goat cheese rounds in crumbs. Bake 5 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown. Whisk 1/4 c. oil with grapefruit balsamic. Season with salt & pepper. Toss with greens to coat. Divide greens among 4 salad plates, topping each salad with a goat cheese round. Serves 4. (This is also good with added dried cherries and walnuts)

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