Sunday, May 31
Salad on Sunday: Warm Goat Cheese Salad with Pesto Dressing
I guess all mothers have their favorite saying, the one your child can recite by heart (while rolling their eyes). “Success and happiness in life all depend on how well you deal with Plan B,” is my standard refrain. Yesterday this proved to be true (once again). Our son competed in his first fencing competition in the seaside resort of Largs, a small town in North Ayrshire, Scotland.
After a long and exciting tournament we were more than ready to head home. Whilst waiting at the train station it was announced that our train was delayed by more than an hour. We could hear the groans around us. Instead of getting upset, we decided to go for a wee walk in the sun and find a place to have a bite to eat. Much to our delight, we stumbled upon the charming Bean and Leaf Café. I opted for their roasted tomato and warm goat cheese salad with pesto dressing. Seriously, it was one of the best lunches ever! I am now trying to recreate my own version. What could have been a very long and tedious wait, turned out to be a pleasant memory.
postscript—Mason took 3rd place.
A carton or two of Cherry or small Roma tomatoes
Fresh rosemary to taste
1 12 ounce log Montrachet goat cheese
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2-cup breadcrumbs combined with 2 tablespoons each chopped fresh thyme, sage, oregano and basil leaves
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
2 cups mixed salad greens
Preheat oven to 225°F. Halve each tomato crosswise and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle tomatoes with a small about of olive oil. Sprinkle with herbs and salt.
Bake the tomatoes in the oven for about three hours. You want the tomatoes to be shriveled with just a bit of juice. Keep warm.
Slice the Montrachet log into 12 equal size disks. Dredge each disk of goat cheese with flour then egg then seasoned breadcrumbs. Heat a sauté pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and quickly cook the cheese on both sides. When all the cheese slices have been cooked, divide among 4 plates of mixed salad greens with roasted tomato halves. Top with Pesto Dressing (see below).
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons walnut oil (optional)
1/3 cup Balsamic vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese
In a food processor pulse fresh basil walnuts, garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese, 4-5 times. Add olive oil and optional walnut oil, and process for about 10 seconds, until mixture is finely chopped but not pureed. Should be the consistency of dressing.