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!