Sunday, July 16, 2006

Hazelnut-Encrusted Goat Cheese Salad

Many years ago, Clement Street Bar & Grill (Clement and 8th) in San Francisco was our local favorite. They always served consistently good food and the menu had something to please everyone. The hazelnut-encrusted goat cheese appetizer salad was my favorite indulgence: warm, fluffy goat cheese in a hazelnut crust, floating in a sea of vinaigrette-tossed greens.

So, faced with a hot evening and a salad mentality, it was finally time to recreate that lovely dish.

I ground some hazelnuts in the mini-prep with a little salt and a squirt of fresh lemon juice, placed them on a plate, and slicing a 3.5 oz goat cheese in half and forming it into two attractive flat oblongs, I rolled the smooth cheesy pebbles in the hazelnuts until they were completely covered. Baked them in a 325 oven for 6 minutes until they were warm and soft.

While they baked, I mixed a simple vinaigrette with meyer lemon olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and honey, and mixed it with a generous helping of spring mix, dotted with a few sweet 100 cherry tomatoes.

I plated the salad and delivered the twin goat cheeses on top, centre.

On first taste, there was a slightly bitter aftertaste. So I drizzled a little honey over the top and....perfection!


Anonymous Tanna said...

I like the sound of that. And the look of your picture!

11:29 AM  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

When's your restaurant opening? :D
(I've always noticed a little bitter taste with hazelnuts... I may have been eating stale ones, but I think there's a certain something.)

6:44 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Hi cookie - I haven't figured out the bitterness. I ate several before I go started and they tasted sweet. Something in the crushing, perhpas, or the lemon. Next time I might try using lemon olive oil rather than lemon juice and see if it makes a difference. But the honey worked and you really couldn't taste it.

6:49 PM  

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