Friday, October 14, 2011

Baby Greens with Warm Goat Cheese

I used to not like goat cheese. For some reason, it intimidated me. I'm not sure if it was because it was from a goat or if the flavor was just too strong, but there was something about it that scared me off. I think the trick to goat cheese is just to keep it simple. Since the flavor is so pungent, you want to make sure to serve it with either light ingredients or other bold flavors that can stand up against it.

My lovely mother-in-law was up to visit us a few weeks ago, and the hubs wanted to make her a meal that impressed. He was in charge of the main entree and left the appetizer and salad up to me. I wanted to serve something that was complimentary to his scallops and risotto, when I came across this warm goat cheese salad from Epicurious, I thought it was the perfect pairing. The warmth of the goat cheese is just delicious against the crisp of the baby greens and the tang of the vinaigrette.

Tip: When cutting the goat cheese, use dental floss. Simply wrap each end around your finger like you're going to floss your teeth, instead cutting the goat cheese with the string. This will give you the round pieces you'll want without the crumbling that you'll get when using a knife. 

Baby Greens with Warm Goat Cheese
adapted from Epicurious
1 large egg white
1 teaspoon water
2 (1/3-inch-thick) rounds soft mild goat cheese, cut from a cold log
2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Pinch of sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups mesclun (mixed baby salad greens; 1 oz)
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Whisk together egg white and water. Dip cheese rounds in egg, letting excess drip off, then dredge in bread crumbs, pressing lightly to adhere. Chill 15 minutes.
Whisk together vinegar, salt, mustard, sugar, and a pinch of pepper in a small salad bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified.
Heat remaining teaspoon oil in a small nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté cheese until golden, about 30 seconds per side. Remove skillet from heat.
Add greens to dressing and toss gently to coat. Serve salad topped with warm cheese and almonds.


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