Baked Goat Cheese Salad
Baked Sonoma Goat Cheese Salad with Gravenstein Apples and Warm Walnuts. Serves two.
Baked goat cheese:
- 1 small log of local fresh goat cheese (about 5-6 oz, cut into 3/4 inch pieces 4 in total)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 sprigs of thyme (destemmed and roughly chopped)
- zest from half of a lemon
- coarse black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs*
1 small shallot (minced)
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- generous pinch of kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the salad:
- 1 Gravenstein apple (thinly sliced into half moons)
- 1/3 cup walnuts
2 generous hand fulls of salad greens (your choice)
- flakey salt
- coarse black pepper
Preheat an oven to 325oF. Add walnuts to a baking pan, gently toast in the oven for 10 minutes. The
walnuts should be fragrant and not overly toasted.
Place slices of goat cheese in a shallow dish with tall sides. Add on top of the goat cheese, olive oil, thyme,
lemon zest and black pepper. Marinate the goat cheese for 10-15 minutes at room temperature and baste
every 2-3 minutes with the oil mixture.
In the meantime, make the dressing by adding the shallot, salt, and apple cider vinegar to a small bowl.
Let this sit for 2-3 minutes to take the edge off of the shallot. After, add dijon, honey, and olive oil. Gently
whisk everything together with a fork until combined and emulsified.
Coat marinated goat cheese in the breadcrumbs using delicate hands, the goat cheese maybe quite fragile,
but it’s like clay and you can assemble it back together if it breaks apart. Make sure all sides are evenly
coated in the mixture and place on a baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes.
Add walnuts back in the oven for the last two minutes of baking for the goat cheese to coax out the
fragrant nature of the walnuts.
Carefully toss salad greens with apples, flakey salt, black pepper, and dressing in a large bowl. Add at the
last moment the warmed walnuts and plate your salad. Lastly, using a spatula, mindfully place the baked
goat cheese on the plate (when the cheese is warm it will be very soft).
*Fresh breadcrumbs are ones that you make, preferably. Panko is too coarse and lacks flavor. Use the
ends of artisanal bread you like, cut into crouton-sized pieces and toast in a low heat oven until the pieces
of bread are brittle and completely dried out. Then, blitz in the food processor to the coarseness you