in the kitchen

in the kitchen

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Nutted Cheese!

Toasted Goat Cheese Salad
6 to 8 ounces fresh goat cheese
1/4 cup roughly chopped hazelnuts
1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
4 to 5 cups salad greens (baby greens with herbs)
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and grated
1/4 lb. blanched asparagus, chilled, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 recipe of Lemon Vinaigrette (see below)
Dice chilled goat cheese into 1 inch cubes. Mix nuts and pepper in a dish. Heat a medium size skillet over medium high heat. When skillet is hot, dredge each cube in the nut mixture on all sides. You will need to push the nuts into the cheese firmly. Drop each cube into the hot pan and sear on each side until the nuts are toasted but not blackened. Toast 5 or 6 cubes at a time. Set aside and keep warm. Mix salad veggies and dress with vinaigrette. Place on a serving plate and top with nut crusted cheese cubes. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Lemon Vinaigrette
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons walnut oil
Mix juice, zest, salt and sugar in a small bowl. Whisk in walnut oil. Whisk just before pouring dressing over salad. (You can add 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh chopped herbs such as parsley, basil, rosemary or sage to this dressing.)

Hints: Don't dress the salad until ready to serve or the lettuce will wilt. I haven't tried this with any other type of cheese but it should work. Experiment and let me know!

I first had a salad like this at Panoptikum, a wonderful restaurant in Eberschwang, Austria. If you are ever close, it is worth a visit. Very cool place with very good food.

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