Walnut Encrusted Goat Cheese Salad with Crispy Bacon

  • Yield 4 servings

Ingredients

1/3 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
1/3 cup toasted walnuts
1 whole cold 6-ounce log fresh goat cheese, cut crosswise into 4 thick slices
1 whole egg white, beaen
1 1/2 tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup olive oil
6 ounces mesclun or other small salad greens, rinsed and spun dry
6 ounces 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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