Salad as a Meal, Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season by Patricia Wells includes recipes like Bacon-Wrapped Goat Cheese with Dandelion Greens; Home-Smoked Trout, Tarragon, and Cucumber Salad with Horseradish Cream; and Salmon and Halibut Tartare with Fennel, Chives, Avocado, and Pistachio Oil.
This has been a family favorite ever since we moved to France in 1980. I like to wrap the slightly firm goat cheese in thin slices of smoked meat, such as coppa, bacon, pancetta, or smoked ham. The meat must be sliced as thin as possible so it cooks up quickly, before the goat cheese has time to melt and turn runny. So opt for a firm goat cheese. I like to serve this with an assertive salad, such as dandelion greens, or a sturdy spinach-like green from my garden, dressed with a simple, classic vinaigrette.
Equipment: a large nonstick skillet
1. Sprinkle the herbs over both sides of each goat cheese round, pressing down lightly so they adhere. Wrap 2 slices of bacon, crisscross fashion, around each cheese.
2. Heat the skillet over moderate heat. Add the wrapped cheese and cook until the meat is browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a layer of paper towels to drain.
3. In a large salad bowl, toss the greens with just enough dressing to lightly and evenly coat them. Arrange the greens on large salad plates. Place a wrapped goat cheese on top of each salad and serve.
Wine Suggestion: A crisp white wine is essential here, preferably one from the Loire Valley. A good-value white from that region is a Quincy, a "satellite" wine region near the better-known Sancerre. Try offerings from Domaine Mardon, with chalky, citrus-like notes that echo this salad.
About 1-1/4 cups
This has been my signature vinaigrette for decades, and it's the best all-purpose dressing for greens as well as vegetables. I like to use two kinds of vinegar to create a true symphony of flavors.
Equipment: a small jar with a lid.
In the jar, combine the vinegars and salt to taste. Cover with the lid and shake to dissolve the salt. Add the oil and shake to blend. Taste for seasoning. The dressing can be used immediately. (Store the vinaigrette at room temperature or in the refrigerator for several weeks. Shake to blend again before using.)
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This page created June 2011
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