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Goat Cheese Salad

From Anne Willan: From My Château Kitchen

Medium head of lettuce, such as Boston or frisee
Bunch of watercress or arugula
8 slices white bread
4 round fresh goat cheeses or 1 (6-ounce) log

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup olive oil

Heat the oven to 400°F. Wash and dry the lettuce, tearing into pieces. Discard the stems from the watercress or arugula, wash and dry the leaves, and mix them in a salad bowl with the lettuce. Chill the greens to crisp the leaves.

Lightly toast the bread, and using a pastry cutter or glass, cut out 8 rounds the same size as the cheese. If you cut the rounds of bread larger than the cheese, their edges will scorch.


Put the rounds on a baking sheet. Cut each cheese in half crosswise to make 2 disks and set them on the rounds of toast. (If using a log of goat cheese, cut it into 8 individual rounds.) Bake until the cheese is bubbling and starting to brown, 8 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the dressing:
In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar and mustard with salt and pepper until mixed. Gradually whisk in the oil, adding it slowly at first so that the dressing emulsifies and thickens slightly, then more quickly in a steady stream.

Taste and adjust the seasoning; it should be rather piquant. Add the dressing to the salad and toss well. Pile the salad greens on 8 individual plates, set a warm cheese toast on top and serve immediately.

Yields 8 first-course servings.



(Updated: 10/22/08 SN)

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