Top | Salads

Greens with Baked Goat Cheese Rounds

(recipe, Meera S.T. Vargo)


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Introduction

This is adapted from a Cook's Illustrated recipe from November 2003. It's a great do-ahead salad for a party. You can prepare the goat cheese (and salad dressing) up to several days in advance, then bake the goat-cheese rounds and assemble the salads just before serving. I like to serve an artisan-style loaf with this salad, as the goat cheese is delicious slathered on the bread.

Ingredients

    Cheese rounds
    1. 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
    2. 1 egg
    3. 1 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme leaves
    4. 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
    5. 8 oz. firm goat cheese (chèvre)
    Salad
    1. 2 Tbsp. red-wine vinegar
    2. 1 tsp. whole-grain Dijon mustard
    3. ¼ tsp. table salt
    4. 6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
    5. Freshly ground black pepper
    6. 8 to 12 cups mixed greens in bite-size pieces, washed and dried

    Steps

    1. Place panko in a medium flat dish, such as a pie plate. Beat the egg in a small bowl. Combine thyme and chives in another small bowl.
    2. Using a sharp knife, divide the cheese into 8 evenly sized pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Roll each piece in the herbs until lightly coated. Transfer the pieces one at a time to the egg mixture, then to the panko crumbs. Turn each piece to coat, pressing crumbs into cheese. Flatten each ball into a disk.
    3. Place cheese rounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet that will fit in the freezer. Place baking sheet in freezer. Freeze cheese until firm, about 30 minutes. (Cheese may be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and frozen up to 1 week.)
    4. Adjust oven rack to uppermost position; heat to 475 degrees.
    5. Remove cheese from freezer. Bake until crumbs are lightly browned and cheese is slightly soft, 7 to 9 minutes (or 9 to 12 minutes if cheese is completely frozen). Allow cheese to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes.
    6. While the goat cheese is baking, combine the vinegar, mustard, and salt in a small bowl. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the olive oil; season to taste with pepper.
    7. Divide greens among individual plates; place 1 or 2 goat-cheese rounds on each plate, depending on how many you are serving. Serve immediately.