Have you ever ordered a dish in a restaurant and loved it so much that you wanted to recreate it at home?
This happens to me all the time. As our life revolves around food, I find myself taking pictures of food to recreate at home at every restaurant we go.
This salad is one of those dishes.
Years ago I had a similar salad in a small café in Princeton, New Jersey. I can’t even remember the name of the café, but I can still remember the taste like it was yesterday.
I tried to recreate it at home so many times and always ended up with messy melted cheese.
Or, at least, up until I found this recipe…
When I found these beautiful greens at the store I thought that this is the perfect way to use them. Baked warm goat cheese, coated with Melba toast crumbs and herbs, go perfectly with these fresh greens. It melts in your mouth in every bite.
I don’t know about you but for me, this is the definition of “LOVE AT FIRST BITE”.
Putting this salad together is very easy. Here are the steps.
Cut the goat cheese into equal pieces. I used a dental floss. It is much easier than cutting it with a knife.
First, cut it in half horizontally and then vertically. Then cut each half in half.
Then using your very own clean hands, roll each piece to make a small ball (in the size of a golf ball).
Coat each goat cheese ball with chopped thyme and chive herb mixture. Transfer herb coated goat cheese balls in to the egg and Dijon mustard mix.
Coat each goat cheese ball in Melba Toast crumbs (seasoned with ground black pepper). Using your hands, press the crumbs into the egg mixture to make sure that they are nicely adhered. Place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Place the baking sheet in to freezer and freeze them for 30 minutes.
Half an hour later, brush, now partly frozen cheese balls, with olive oil to keep them from drying. Transfer them to preheated (475 F°) oven (on the top position rack) and cook for 8 minutes.
After they are baked, using a spatula each cheese ball on a dish lined with paper towels and cool for 3 minutes.
Serve them on a bed of green salad, drizzled with your favorite dressing.
You can freeze them in an airtight container up to 1 week. Just keep them in the oven for 2 to 4 minutes longer when it is time to bake.
Baked Goat Cheese Salad
For the Goat Cheese Balls
- 3 ounces 2 cups Melba Toasts
- 12 oz goat cheese
- 1 teaspoon black pepper freshly grounded
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
For the Salad
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon minced shallot or red onion
- Pinch of salt
- Ground black pepper
- 7 cups of salad greens
- Process the Melba Toasts in a food processer until fine like breadcrumbs, for about a minute and a half.
- Cut the goat cheese into equal pieces using a dental floss or kitchen twine. (Please see picture and explanation above.)
- Roll each piece to make a small ball (in the size of a golf ball) using your hands.
- Coat each goat cheese ball with chopped thyme and chive herb mixture.
- Whisk eggs with Dijon mustard in a small ball. Transfer, now herb coated goat cheese balls in to this mix.
- Using your hands, press the Melba Toast crumbs (seasoned with pepper) into the egg mixture to make sure that they are nicely adhered.
- Place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
- Place the baking sheet in to freezer and freeze them for 30 minutes.
- Place the rack to the top position and pre-heat oven to 475 F degrees.
- Meanwhile whisk the oil, vinegar, mustard, shallot (or red onion) and salt in a small bowl until combined. Set aside.
- Remove the cheese from the freezer and lightly brush all sides of each cheese ball with olive oil. Transfer the baking sheet in to the oven and bake for 8 minutes. If they are completely frozen bake them for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Using a spatula place the cheese to a paper towel lined plate and let cool for 3 minutes.
- Place the green salad in a bowl and drizzle with the salad dressing. Toss to coat.
- Divide green salad among individual plates; place as many goat cheese balls as you want and serve.
A recipe by America’s Test Kitchen.