Warm Nut Encrusted Goat Cheese Salad with Bacon Lardons
- 1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup toasted walnuts
- 1 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows
- 1 cold 6-ounce log fresh goat cheese, cut crosswise into 4 thick slices
- 1 egg white, beaten
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 freshly ground black pepper
- 11/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 6 ounces mesclun or other small salad greens, rinsed and spun dry
- 6 ounces bacon lardons (slab bacon, thickly cut into 2-inch strips), cooked until crisp and fat is rendered
- Fresh baby parsley sprigs, for garnish
- Chives, for garnish
- Toasted buttered French bread croutons, accompaniment
- Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
- 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Dip the cheese slices in the egg white, then into the bread crumb mixture, turning to coat on all sides and pressing to adhere. Place on a plate and refrigerate 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the greens and bacon in a large bowl and toss with the dressing to coat. Adjust the seasoning, to taste. Divide among 4 salad plates.
On a small, lightly greased baking sheet, bake the goat cheese rounds until golden brown and softened, about 5 minutes. Remove and transfer 1 round to each salad. Garnish with the parsley sprigs and chives, and serve immediately with warm croutons.Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William Morrow, 1993.