Serve this with a basic vinaigrette. David Liebovitz has a wonderful article on the French vinaigrette this month.
Baked Goat Cheese and Baby Greens Serves 4from The Joy of Cooking
Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a small baking dish. Refrigerate in a salad bowl:
6 cups mixed baby greens or mesclun, washed and dried
Stir together in a shallow bowl:
1 cup fine, dry, unseasoned breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Pour into another shallow bowl:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Coat first with the olive oil and then with the breadcrumbs:
4 rounds fresh goat cheese, each about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick.
Place the cheese on the baking dish and bake until golden brown and lightly bubbling, about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the vinaigrette.
Toss the greens with just enough vinaigrette to coat the leaves and divide among 4 plates. Place a round of baked cheese in the centre of each salad and serve at once.
Makes about 1/4 cup (60 ml), enough for one large green salad
Aside from not using balsamic vinegar in salad dressings, another astuce is to use freshly-ground black pepper, which is best added when tossing the salad with the dressing.
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon sherry or red wine vinegar
1/2 small shallot, peeled and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3T to 4T (45 ml to 60 ml) olive oil
fresh herbs, if desired
1. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, vinegar, and shallot. Let stand for about ten minutes.
2. Mix in the Dijon mustard, then add 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of olive oil. Stir well, then taste. If too sharp, add the additional olive oil and more salt, if necessary. Romain said one needs to add beaucoup de mustard, so feel free to add more as well.
If you wish to add fresh herbs, it's best to chop and mix them in shortly before serving so they retain their flavor.
Storage: This dressing will keep for about eight hours at room temperature. If you want to make it farther in advance, it's best to add the shallots closer to serving so they don't lose their verve.