Last year, while on our trip to Portugal for my best friend’s wedding, we discovered from our many meals dining out, that warm goat cheese is a very common thing to eat there. I love goat cheese, but I had never eaten it warm before. It’s typically served as an appetizer or over a salad.
One night, we went out to eat with the group to this great little place called Aquasul (don’t try to look it up online – I tried and they don’t have a website!). It’s run by a Dutch woman. My best friend married a Dutch man, so it was no surprise that they took us there! The food was amazing! The meal I chose was a Warm Goat Cheese Salad. It was so great, that I vowed not to forget what was in it or on it so that I could duplicate it one day. Guess what? I forgot. Were they pine nuts, or pecans? Hmm? It may have been all the wine we were consuming. By the way, if you’ve never been to Portugal or any of those great European countries, wine is super inexpensive there, and so good. It’s really easy to consume! But then again, I’m a sucker for wine!
Last week I popped into our local Fresh and Easy. I came across a mixed bag of shredded broccoli, cabbage, and carrots, and it reminded me of some of the mixed greens that were in that salad and so, of course, it brought the memory of that salad back to me and I had to have it. Up and down the isles, I collected all of the things I needed to make it.
This time of year, I particularly love salads. They’re cold, take no time to make and they’re super healthy! This salad is comprised of leafy lettuce, red and white cabbage, carrots, pecans or pine nuts (your choice), a thick slab of goat cheese, honey, and fresh homemade balsamic vinegarette.
To get a smooth cut of goat cheese, cut it when it’s really cold. You can cut it with plain dental floss or a smooth edge knife. On a baking sheet, add a sheet of parchment paper and set the oven to 350 degrees and cook for about 3-5 minutes. Keep an eye on it. You don’t want it to burn, you just want it warm. Add all of greens to a bowl, top with your goat cheese, and then drizzle honey over it and sprinkle with pecans. Finish the salad with the best part, my favorite balsamic vinegarette. Ever go to a restaurant and you just love their vinegarette? I think the secret is to blend it! This is where my Vitamix makes an entrance, but any blender will do.
- 1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/2 cup good quality olive oil
- 1 small minced garlic clove
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard (the key to this deliciousness)
- Throw everything in a blender except for the olive oil
- Slowly add in your olive oil
- Get it nice and frothy and serve!
- Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Here I cut up some apples and oranges and added them to my regular old red wine to create a Sangria!
P.S. If you’ve never had this, you ought to try it. My mother in-law had turned me onto it many years ago. It’s a definite “go to” appetizer for entertaining. It’s simple and oh so good! Goat cheese log, drizzle honey over it, and sprinkle nuts – any kind on top of it will do, slivered almonds, pecans, candied pecans, walnuts, you can’t go wrong. I prefer pecans. Serve with rice crackers, or whatever cracker you like! Oh, yeah! You’ll be so in love with this, it’ll be your “go to” as well!
How ever you choose to serve goat cheese, I don’t think you can disappoint! It’s flavorful and delish!