Recipe courtesy of Michelle Bernstein

Chile Crusted Warm Goat Cheese Salad with Hot Candied Walnuts and Balsamic Vinaigrette

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 40 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Cook: 10 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1 pound goat cheese, divided into 4 round disks

1/4 cascabel chile, toasted in a dry pan, ground in a coffee grinder

1/4 cup pistachio nuts, toasted in a dry pan, ground in a grinder or food processor

1/4 cup bread crumbs (Japanese panko, if available)

1 tablespoon olive oil

Balsamic Vinaigrette, recipe follows

Hot Candied Walnuts, recipe follows

Balsamic Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup good olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 shallots, minced

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Hot Candied Walnuts:

1 cup shelled walnuts

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Crust the cheese with the chile, nuts, and bread crumbs and a little salt. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick pan (large enough to fit all 4 disks comfortably) on medium heat. Place the crusted cheese in the pan. Heat for 45 seconds, turn with a spatula, and heat for another 45 seconds.
  2. On each of 4 plates, place a round of crusted goat cheese. Drizzle with Balsamic Vinaigrette and sprinkle with the Hot Candied Walnuts.

Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  1. Combine all ingredients and season with salt and pepper.

Hot Candied Walnuts:

  1. In a large saute pan on medium heat, place all ingredients. Keep the pan moving until the sugar melts and the ingredients are all melted together. (Be very cautious, can burn easily). Pour mixture onto a greased sheet pan. Leave out to cool. When cool, chop into small pieces. Set aside until needed.