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Warm Goat Cheese & Chicken Salad

Goat cheese is much easier to cut when it is very cold, rather than at room temperature. If the cold cheese is still difficult to cut, dip a sharp knife in hot water and then dry it with a paper towel. Warm and dry the knife before cutting each slice.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup fine dried bread crumbs or panko
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 lb. fresh goat cheese, cut into 8 thick rounds
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp. Dijon or tarragon mustard
  • 5 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 6 oz. mixed baby salad greens
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 Tbs. canola oil

Directions:

Coat the goat cheese
In a shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Lightly beat the egg in another shallow bowl. Dip 1 flat surface of each goat cheese round into the egg, letting the excess egg drip back into the bowl. Then dip in the bread crumbs, patting the crumbs in place. Leave the rims of the rounds uncoated. Repeat with the remaining goat cheese rounds.

Make the dressing
In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon zest and juice, mustard, 1/4 tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until smooth. Stir in the tarragon.

Assemble the salad and cook the goat cheese
Add the mixed greens and chicken to the dressing and toss to coat evenly. Arrange on plates.

In a large nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the canola oil until it shimmers. Working in batches if needed, add the goat cheese rounds and cook until just beginning to soften but not melt, about 45 seconds. Carefully turn the rounds over and cook for about 30 seconds more. Transfer to the plates and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Salad, by Brigit L. Binns (Oxmoor House, 2007).