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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pan Fried Goat Cheese Salad

A light supper.  A simple salad.  Pan fried herb-crusted goat cheese on mixed greens with roasted asparagus, garden tomatoes, nicoise olives, capers, and candied pecans tossed in a dijon vinaigrette with pressed ham and brie ciabatta on the side.
I made a very light vinaigrette with 2 tablespoons  red wine vinegar, 1/3 cup  good olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon  minced shallot, and 1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard.  I mixed the vinaigrette in the bottom of a large bowl before tossing in mixed greens, olives, capers, and tomatoes.  I love how the bitterness of raddichio, arugula, and frisee greens paired with the tart vinaigrette and goat cheese.

After tossing fresh asparagus with salt, pepper, and olive oil, I roasted it in a hot 400 degree oven for 10 minutes until it was bright green, tenderly cooked, and al dente.
While the asparagus roasted, I formed goat cheese patties, dredged them in egg wash, dipped them in parslied bread crumbs, and sauteed them until crisp and golden brown.

I split a small ciabatta roll, slathered the outside with butter and filled the inside with Black Forrest Ham and sliced brie before pressing it into a panani on a screaming hot grill pan.
I tossed the salad with the dijon vinaigrette, plated it, topped it with fanned-out roasted asparagus, and placed the sauteed herb-crusted goat cheese discs over the salad with the sliced ham & brie paninis to the side.

A dusting of sea salt and cracked black pepper finished it.

The goat cheese was crisp and golden.  When cut, the inner melted cheese  fell through the salad like dressing coating the greens with creamy sharpness.  Tangy, tart, and refreashing.  The briny black olives, acidic and salty, provided needed depth and punch while the warm crisp asparagus slightly wilted the tender greens beneath  for body and demension. The candied pecans gave a welcome crunch and sweetness.  The warm goat cheese took center stage with its herbed crunchy exterior yielding streams of creamy tartness.   

It was a breath of fresh air.

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