Mild goat cheese baked in a crumb crust is the perfect partner for crisp, dark greens; the addition of herbes de Provence truly takes this salad to the next level.
For the Baked Chèvre
• Two 5- or 6-ounce rounds chèvre cheese, sliced into thirds for 6 pieces total
• 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
• 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
For the Salad• 1 bunch spinach (about 12 ounces)
• 1 bunch watercress (about 8 ounces)
For the Dressing• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 2-1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
• 1 teaspoons herbes de Provence
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
• 1 sweet red pepper, cut in strips
1. Thoroughly coat the cheese rounds with oil. Mix the breadcrumbs and herbs together, and press the mixture all over the cheese rounds. Refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour.
2. Wash, dry, and trim the stems of the spinach and watercress. Refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Combine all dressing ingredients except red pepper.
4. Just before serving, bake the breaded chèvre rounds in an oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 to 10 minutes, or until warm and softened.
5. Toss the greens with the dressing and divide among 6 plates. Place the warm cheese rounds in the center of each plate, and garnish with red pepper strips.
For more about growing and blending your own herbs and spices, see: Homemade Spice Blends.
Reprinted from The Herb Companion.