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
Olive oil
Fresh rosemary to taste
Sea salt

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).

Pesto Dressing:
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.


Karen said...

This sounds divine. Can't wait to try it!

pve design said...

All I can say, is how terribly happy I am that you stopped for this salad. "Plan B" is all part of being a Mom! Off to gather all the ingredients for today.

ALL THE BEST said...

Me too Patricia!

Anne said...

Great post. Yummy. 3rd is wonderful!

Karena said...

I have loved Montrachet from the moment I tasted it and it the best for salads! This one is a keeper!

Susan Lang @ Designing Your Dream Home said...

Your post did it! After reading posts and ignoring the growl of my stomach, I will pull myself away from my computer and prepare some breakfast. I love reading your attitude once hearing the train would be delayed...and so happy that plan B turned out so well. You definitely took lemons and made lemonade.

C said...

The cafe was inspired by coffee bean & tea leaf? But seriously, a salad never looked this good...

Michelle said...

I adore anything with goat's cheese...yum

Elizabeth said...

Oh gosh that sounds delicious! I must say you are right about Plan B, its all about seeing new opportunities, whether is for learning or having more fun!. Thank you for the recipe! :)

Haven and Home said...

I am obsessed with goat cheese, I am going to print this out. Thanks for sharing!

Gail Dunbar said...

I am new to blogging and I found you through our mutual interests! Today is our fortieth anniversary and I will gather the ingredients to try what sounds like a very yummy dish to make a special treat for us! I enjoyed my visit here and hope you will visit me too at the Joyful Journalist!

A "cheery" disposition said...

This sounds so good!

Jen West Design said...

I could do without ice cream for the rest of my life. No loss. Cheese? Wine? I'm a slave. Slave to those two.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Wonderful. I have to throw a vegetarian dinner and will try this out! Thanks.

And, I answered my own question from Twitter. A fencer in the family! Hoorah! I was a sabreman through college. Third is a great start; pass along an "et la!" for me. What weapon?

Sippity Sup said...

I have a food blog, but I do cruise through here quite often. This recipe inspired me to slow down and say hello and great blog! GREG (