Sunday, May 22, 2011

Green Salad Topped With Baked Goat Cheese, Strawberries, Grapes and Garlic Dijon Dressing

This is one of those salads that had me making peculiar satisfied noises the whole way through, you know the meals that you just can't help but say, "Mmmm, MMMmmm." With the creaminess of the baked goat cheese and the stimulating flavors of the fresh vinaigrette, this would easily cost $10-15 in a restaurant. However, it is easy enough for you to make in your very own kitchen. Such a light, refreshing salad, perfect for those hot, summer days we are all waiting so patiently for! Bring on the sunshine!
Dressing (double batch):
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp EVOO
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2-3 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp black pepper
Baked Goat Cheese:
  • 3 Tbsp panko crumbs (or dried bread crumbs)
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 oz red-fat goat cheese (I used regular honey chevre, delicious!)
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
Garden Salad:
  • Mixed greens
  • Strawberies, quartered
  • Grapes, halved
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray.

With side of large knife, mash garlic with salt on cutting board until it forms a paste.

To make dressing, whisk together oil, lemon juice, parsley, shallot, mustard, pepper and garlic paste in small bowl until blended.

Mix crumbs and walnuts on wax paper. Coat cheese with egg, then coat with crumb mixture. Place on baking sheet, bake until warm, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, put salad greens in large bowl; drizzle half of the dressing over and toss to coat evenly. Divide salad evenly among 6 plates and top with warm goat cheese round.

*The second time I made this salad, I substituted pears for the strawberries and grapes and topped with fresh black pepper...Yum!

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