Excellent salad! No wonder it has been on the cafe menu at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA, for more than for 25 years. The goat cheese is mild and tangy and the dressing light and delicious. Toasting the walnuts really brings out the flavor. It was worth buying the expensive walnut oil as I will make this again and again. Michael really enjoyed this salad. That’s a real compliment.
Here is the recipe from Sunset magazine:
- 12 ounces fresh, mild goat cheese (such as Haystack’s Boulder ChÁ¨vre)
- Leaves from 4 sprigs thyme, chopped
- Leaves from 1 small sprig rosemary, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 baguette, cut into eight 1/4-in.-thick slices
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher or sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 tablespoons walnut or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 pound baby lettuces or salad mix, washed and dried
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1. Shape the goat cheese into eight 1-in.-thick disks and put in a container just big enough to hold them in one layer. Sprinkle cheese with herbs and pour on olive oil. Cover and chill at least 12 hours and up to a week. One hour before baking, pop them in the freezer to firm up.
- 2. Preheat oven to 400°. Remove cheese from marinade and roll all sides in panko, pressing gently so the crumbs adhere. Arrange on a large baking sheet and bake until golden, about 15 minutes, turning over halfway through. Add baguette slices for last 5 minutes of baking.
- 3. Whisk together vinegar, salt, pepper, and walnut oil. Put lettuces in a large bowl, drizzle with just enough dressing to coat, and toss gently and thoroughly.
- 4. Divide lettuces among 4 plates, sprinkle with walnuts, and to each plate add 2 goat-cheese disks and a baguette slice. Serve immediately.