Walnut Encrusted Goat Cheese Salad with Crispy Bacon
- Yield: 4 servings
- 1/3cup fine dry breadcrumbs
- 1/3cup toasted walnuts
- 1whole cold 6-ounce log fresh goat cheese, cut crosswise into 4 thick slices
- 1whole egg white, beaen
- 1 1/2tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
- 2tablespoons minced shallots
- 1/2teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4teaspoon salt
- 1/4teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/3cup olive oil
- 6ounces mesclun or other small salad greens, rinsed and spun dry
- 6ounces bacon lardons (slab bacon, thickly cut into 2-inch strips), cooked until crisp and fat is rendered
- Fresh baby parsley sprigs, for garnish
- Chives, for garnish
- Toasted buttered French bread croutons, accompaniment
- In a food processor, pulse the bread crumbs and walnuts until the nuts are ground, being careful not to overgrind. Place in a shallow dish.
- Dip the cheese slices in the egg white, then into the bread crumb mixture, turning to coat on all sides and pressing to adhere. Place on a plate and refrigerate 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400F. In a bowl, combine the vinegar, shallots, garlic, salt and pepper. Let sit for 10 minutes. Whisk in the mustard and slowly add the oil, whisking to make an emulsion. Place the greens and bacon in a large bowl and toss with the dressing to coat. Adjust the seasoning, to taste. Divide among 4 salad plates.
- On a small, lightly greased baking sheet, bake the goat cheese rounds until golden brown and softened, about 5 minutes. Remove and transfer 1 round to each salad. Garnish with the parsley sprigs and chives, and serve immediately with warm croutons.