I will get to posting the Thanksgiving recipes soon, but first I wanted to post something a little on the lighter side. This salad has become one of my favorite salads to make this past fall. I had seen several recipes for salads topped with goat cheese rounds, but none that really included the flavors I was looking for, so I created my own.
What is great about this recipe is that you can personalize it to your own tastes. I prefer a mixture of mixed greens and baby spinach, but either one alone would be delicious, as would romaine. I have also made this with both apples and grapes, and both are perfect for adding some sweetness and crunch to the salad. I also prefer the goat cheese warmed, but if I am in a hurry, it is good cold as well.
Even if you don’t really care for goat cheese, give this salad a try. Coating the goat cheese in toasted pecans and warming it a bit really mellows out the flavor. And you can’t go wrong with mixed greens and fruit tossed with maple vinaigrette.
Pecan Crusted Goat Cheese Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
- 4 oz log of goat cheese
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 granny smith apple, thinly sliced or 1 cup of grapes, halved
- 8 cups mixed greens and baby spinach
- 1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
In a small skillet, toast the pecans over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Let cool. In a food processor, combine the cooled pecans and brown sugar. Pulse until the pecans are finely chopped and transfer to a small bowl or plate. Carefully slice the goat cheese into 4 equal rounds. Gently press the goat cheese rounds into the pecan mixture. Chill the pecan crusted goat cheese while you make the vinaigrette.
In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, maple syrup and apple cider vinegar. Drizzle in the olive oil and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss the mixed greens with the vinaigrette and divide into two servings. Top with the apples or grapes.
Heat the goat cheese rounds in a small skillet over medium heat just until they are beginning to soften. Place two rounds on each salad. Serves two.
Source: A Made in Melissa’s Kitchen original.