Easy ending with baked goat cheese salad…

This past weekend was a busy one… you know, the kind when you do anything and everything except relaxing. After a whole two days of running around, we got home around 8pm on Sunday night, all exhausted but feeling good about checking things off of our list. (Well, to tell you the truth, it is actually my list. When I say “we need to do this“, it usually means it’s something I want Jay to do. But I get the credit for putting it on the list, right? That’s why I get to say “we“. Like lately I’ve been saying we really need to paint our bedroom, but somehow we haven’t been so eager to do it!).

So, the first plan was to grill fish, but we took the easy road and broiled it! Last summer, we got into the habit of grilling whole fish, usually pompano, sometimes red snapper. There is something refreshing and summery about a whole grilled fish… it just needs a good, tangy green salad and a glass of raki! Since raki would probably knock us out as soon as we smelled it with its 45% alcohol volume, we settled on only salad… While Jay prepared the fish with olive oil, rosemary and lemon slices to be broiled, I made Alice Waters’s Goat Cheese Salad from One Big Table.

As greens, it was suggested to use peppery greens like arugula, lamb’s lettuce, small oak leaf, red leaf lettuce and chervil. When I tasted the salad, it made sense how the warm, soft goat cheese would complement those greens. But I had only red and green leaf lettuce on hand, and added some parsley and green onions as well to give it some crunch. It pays off to have a good quality balsamic vinegar and olive oil for this salad!

According to the book, Alice Waters searched high and low in the Bay Area for the peppery greens she tasted in France, with no luck. Finally she  brought lettuce seeds from France to plant in her garden here. When I read these types of stories, I so wish that I had inherited my grandma’s green thumb. But I know my limitations. Talking about limitations and green thumb… I volunteered to take care of Jay’s grandmother’s 30-year old Ming aralia on Sunday! That beautiful, delicate plant that thrived in her care for 30 years! 30 years people! Let’s just hope I can keep it going… Keep your finger’s crossed! I will keep you posted on that and if you have any experience with this delicate plant, please let me know! Will be much appreciated!

Alice Waters’s Goat Cheese Salad (From One Big Table, 4 servings)

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 springs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf, crumbled
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese, cut in 4 rounds
  • 1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 cups fresh greens

1. Put goat cheese slices in a small dish. Combine 1/4 cup of olive oil, thyme and bay leaf and pour it over the cheese. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 12 hours.

2. Once you are ready to assemble the salad, take the cheese out and dip it in the bread crumbs, coating it well.

3. Place the cheese in a lightly oiled baking dish, bake for 5-6 minutes or until golden brown in a preheated 450°F oven.

4. Combine 1/4 cup of olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper with the greens.

5. Place baked goat cheese over each individual serving.


  1. by Rich
    7:37 am
    Jan 21, 2011

    That salad looks great – I love the breading on the cheese!
    And no worries about the plant – just sing to it. You know, a little Barry White, a bedtime story …

  2. by Lora @cakeduchess
    10:14 am
    Jan 22, 2011

    Hi Ilke-This salad looks delicious! The goat cheese with the breading must have been divine! Good luck with the Ming aralia-I have no advise to give you b/c I do not have a green thumb;)Hope your weekend is lovely!

  3. by Monet
    11:19 am
    Jan 22, 2011

    What a lovely salad. We all need some greens in our days…and I can only imagine how great those baked goat cheese nuggets must taste. Thank you for sharing with me today. I hope that you have a Saturday full of good memories and relaxation. We need it!

  4. by Meg (The Red Spoon)
    11:44 pm
    Jan 26, 2011

    Ilke this salad look wonderful! I love anything with goat cheese, and this is something I will definitely have to try! Love the photos too!

  5. by Aurica
    8:34 am
    Feb 3, 2014

    a very refreshing, delicious and tasty salad, love it :D


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