Goat’s Cheese Salad

Recently, while cleaning out cabinets, I started looking through some of the older cookbooks I have.  One of them is a giant cookbook full of ideas for appetizers, buffets, and parties.  As I started to look through it, I wondered why I didn’t use it more often – it was full of great ideas! 
For lunch this week, I decided to make this Goat’s Cheese Salad – it was easy, delicious, and perfect for all of the fans of goat’s cheese out there. 

Goat’s Cheese Salad
Serves 4
Recipe adapted from the cookbook: Appetizers, Buffet, and Parties
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 slices of French bread, ½ inch thick
8 cups mixed salad leaves, torn into small pieces
4 firm goat’s cheese rounds, about 2 ounces each, rind removed
1 yellow or red (bell) pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (note: I did not include this)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (note: I did not include this)
1 cup diced green onions (note: this was my add- I used Italian Aglio green pitted olives)
For the dressing
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
5 tablespoons olive oil
Ground black pepper
To make the dressing, mix the vinegar and salt in a bowl, stirring with a fork until the salt has dissolved.  Stir in the mustard.  Gradually whisk in the olive oil until blended.  Season to taste with pepper and set aside until needed.
Preheat the broiler.  Heat the oil in a frying pan.  Add the bread slices and cook for about 1 minute, until the undersides are golden.  Turn and cook on the other side for about 30 seconds more.  Drain well on paper towels and set aside.
Place the salad leaves in a bowl.  Add 3 tablespoons of the dressing and toss to coat well.  Divide the dressed leaves among four salad plates.
Place the goat’s cheeses, cut sides up, on a baking sheet and broil for about 1-2 minutes, until bubbling and golden.
Set a goat’s cheese on each slice of bread and place in the center of each plate.  Sprinkle the diced pepper, red onion, parsley, chives, and olives over the salad.  Drizzle with the remaining dressing and serve.  
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