Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Baked Goat Cheese and Cherry Salad with Lemon-Tarragon Dressing
This salad was supposed to be healthy. On Monday night, I went out to dinner at Guapo's, where I consumed nearly an entire basket of chips, 3 steak tacos, and one beer that did not have "light" in its name. Then, when I got home, I drank an inexcusable amount of wine while simultaneously stuffing my face with ice cream. My sister is no longer allowed to visit. Whenever she's in town, I eat (and drink) like I'm on vacation.
Anyway, I wanted to have a big salad as a penance for my taco binge. I guess I forgot while buying ingredients that goat cheese is not exactly a healthy food. Especially goat cheese that has been coated in bread crumbs and baked until it is hot and melty. I fear that I'll never be able to have a salad without these goat cheese rounds again. I'm already envisioning a fall version of this salad with baked goat cheese, candied pecans, and pears. Drool. Fall needs to get here, pronto.
One last thing! The lovely people at OXO sent me an awesome cherry pitter that I used for this recipe! It has a splatter shield so that you can pit cherries without making your kitchen look like a murder scene. It's quite handy, and if you're in the market for a cherry pitter I highly recommend it! I've been wanting to make a cherry pie all summer and haven't gotten around to it, but this tool will be immensely useful when I finally make one...pitting 90 million cherries for a pie using a knife sounds like straight-up torture. Thanks a bunch OXO!
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely minced red onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
For the baked goat cheese:
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Breadcrumbs, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 11-ounce log goat cheese, frozen for 20-25 minutes
For the salad:
1 cup cherries, pitted and halved
Mixed baby greens (the dressing makes enough to dress 2-3 starter-sized salads, so eyeball the appropriate amount of lettuce)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Pour breadcrumbs onto a shallow plate. Slice the log of goat cheese crosswise into 6 equal pieces. Dip each piece of goat cheese into the egg mixture, and then into the breadcrumb mixture, pressing the crumbs into the goat cheese to form a crust. Place goat cheese rounds on a parchment lined baking sheet, and spray tops of goat cheese lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes.
While the goat cheese is baking, dress the salad, and top with halved cherries. Serve immediately with the warm goat cheese.
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Disclosure: I received a cherry pitter from OXO free of charge, but was not monetarily compensated for mentioning it. All opinions, as always, are my own!