Warm Walnut-Crusted Chèvre with Wild Greens and Herb Vinaigrette

This recipe has been widely published. It’s a standard in my repertoire, and can be made with  variations to the greens, the vinaigrette, and the goat cheese. For example, use herb-crusted goat cheese and do Sherry vinegar instead of red wine. I’m pretty much always going to use arugula if it is available.

 

425F

4 Servings

The vinaigrette can be made ahead to simplify last-minute preparation.

Vinaigrette

  • 1½ t finely chopped shallots
  • 1½ t Dijon mustard
  • 4t red wine vinegar
  • 1T chopped fresh herbs
  • ¼ t granulated sugar
  • ¼ t salt
  • 1/8 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 2T  good quality extra virgin olive oil

Whisk together all of the vinaigrette ingredients except for the olive oil. Gradually whisk in the oil until the dressing is well emulsified. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Salad

  • 4 ounce Chèvre (soft goat cheese)
  • 1 egg white, beaten until frothy
  • ½ cup walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped
  • 6 cups (packed) mixed wild gourmet or your choice of greens

Divide the Chèvre into 4 equal portions. Shape each portion into 1½-inch diameter disks. Dip each disk first into the egg whites, then into the chopped walnuts, pressing the nuts into the cheese. Place the disks on the baking sheet. Bake just long enough to warm the cheese through, 4 to 5 minutes. While the cheese is warming, place the greens in a large bowl and toss with vinaigrette. Divide the dressed greens into 4 salad plates. Top each plate with the goat cheese and serve immediately.

How to Toast Nuts

Nuts store better un-roasted. Once roasted, they begin oxidizing immediately, so it is best to toast them shortly before assembling the salad.

Preheat oven to 375° . Spread shelled walnut halves or pieces on a baking sheet. Bake until lightly brown, 5 to 8 minutes.

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