Goat Cheese Salad

Warm Goat Cheese Salad <em>or</em> Chevre Me Timbers!

Warm Goat Cheese Salad or Chevre Me Timbers!

Mike Harper

Warm Goat Cheese Salad
with Grilled Olive Bread

2 cloves garlic, peeled, halved
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbs chopped fresh basil
2 tbs red wine vinegar
2 tbs Dijon mustard

1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)*
1 tbs chopped fresh thyme
1 tbs chopped fresh parsley
1 tbs n chopped fresh basil
½ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp salt
3 4oz. logs soft, fresh goat cheese, each halved crosswise, halves pressed to ½-inch thickness
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten until foamy
1 tbs olive oil
10 oz. mesculin salad mix (or any assortment of mixed greens); washed and dried.

6 ¾ inch-thick slices olive bread
Additional olive oil

For Vinaigrette:
Place garlic and oil in a small pan and warm garlic on low for 7-8 minutes. You’re after an infusion, you don’t want to cook the garlic. After oil is warmed and infused, transfer garlic to small bowl and reserve oil. Using fork, coarsely mash garlic. Add basil, vinegar, and mustard to mashed garlic. Whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk in reserved garlic oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (This can be made a day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand 1 hour at room temperature and re-whisk before using.)

For Salad:
Mix first 6 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Dip each cheese round into egg whites, turning to coat. Coat each with breadcrumb mixture. Transfer coated cheese rounds to plate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.
Heat 1 tbs. olive oil in a large, heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add cheese rounds and cook until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a heated plate w/ a paper towel to drain.

Brush bread slices on both sides with olive oil. Grill until beginning to toast, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to plate.

Place greens in large bowl and toss with all but 2 tablespoons vinaigrette; season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide salad among 6 plates. Top each with 1 cheese round and 1 slice grilled bread. Drizzle cheese rounds with remaining 2 tbs. vinaigrette and serve.

* Available at Asian markets and in the Asian foods section of some supermarkets.


Wine Recommendation:
You’d want a wine that had a similar character rather than one that acts as a counterpoint. While vinaigrettes are notoriously difficult to match with wine, for this dish, a sauvignon blanc from New Zealand, like the Nautilus pictured above, would work well. It has zesty flavors of grapefruit and lime along with a rich minerality.  The crisp acidity of the wine would be reflected by the vinaigrette and the similar acidity of the goat cheese.

Published in: on May 13, 2009 at 2:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

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