Warm Goat Cheese and Pear Salad
- Goat Cheese Rounds
- 1 ¼ cups fresh white breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 11 ounces fresh goat cheese, cut into 8 rounds
- 2 eggs beaten to blend
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- For the Vinaigrette
- 4 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 small shallot, minced
- ½ cup canola oil (for a change, no Keller Estate olive oil: a less flavorful oil is needed to allow the walnut oil to shine.)
- ¼ cup walnut oil
- 8 cups mixed baby greens
- 2 heads Belgian endive, cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces
- 2 large ripe pears, peeled, cored, cut into ¼-inch-thick slice. Be sure to cut the pears at the last minute so they do not brown.
- 1/3 cup chopped and slightly toasted walnuts
Mix breadcrumbs and thyme in a pie tin. Season the four with salt and pepper, cover the goat cheese with the flour, then dip into the beaten egg and finally into breadcrumbs. The goat cheese can be breaded and refrigerated up to one day ahead of time.
Whisk the vinegar, mustard, and minced shallot in a small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in ½ cup of canola oil, and the ¼ cup of walnut oil; season to taste with salt and pepper. Combine mixed greens, Belgian endive and pears in large bowl. Place the walnuts on a parchment lined sheet pan and toast in a 325ºF oven for about 10 minutes.
Heat the 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, add cheese rounds to skillet and cook until crisp and brown on outside and soft on inside, about 2 minutes per side. In a large bowl toss the salad with salt, pepper and enough vinaigrette to coat the greens. Divide among 4 plates. Place 2 warm cheese rounds in center of each salad and sprinkle the walnuts over the top.