salad with bacon wrapped goat’s cheese

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recipe: salad with bacon wrapped goat’s cheese

I have been meaning to post this for so long that I forgot I had been meaning to post it…

salad A while back, we saw Laura Calder making Goat Cheese salad on her TV show. I immediately thought it would be a great idea. And I begged T to do it.

As he began to put slices of bacon into the frying pan to make bacon bits, I reminded him that the bacon was supposed to be wrapped around the goat’s cheese and put in the oven til the bacon was crispy. He was reluctant.

He didn’t have the same vision for the salad at all and thought it wouldn’t really work.

But my wheedling wore him down and he agreed. Still reluctant.

I suggested using red leaf lettuce; he countered with Romaine. Okay, it should work with romaine too, right?

Nuh uh. Not only was the salad dull (Romaine lettuce just doesn’t taste the way it used to) but the goat cheese got sort of grainy and the bacon wasn’t cooked quite right.

Does T have to be right EVERY time?!

But don’t let our failure dissuade you from making this. It wasn’t that it was bad. It just wasn’t what we each expected it to be. And it has the potential of being wonderful. We really should try it again because Laura’s salad looks beautiful.

Incidentally, I forgot that Laura put toasted pinenuts in her salad too. WHAT a good idea. Maybe the toasted pinenuts will distract T and he’ll forget his reluctance to have it again….

Here’s what we did to make the salad:

Salad with bacon wrapped goat’s cheese
based on Laura Calder’s recipe for Goat Cheese salad

Once again, no measurements; you’ll just have to wing it.

  • Romaine lettuce*
  • olive oil
  • ¼ tsp grainy Dijon-style mustard
  • garlic, chopped finely
  • dried thyme
  • cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • goat’s cheese (the kind that comes in a log)
  • bacon
  • freshly ground pepper, to garnish

preparation

  1. At least an hour before eating the salad, wash and spin the lettuce*. Put it into a colander and set aside in the fridge.
  2. Put olive oil, mustard, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper and cider vinegar** in a small bowl and whisk well. Refrigerate til ready to use.
  3. Shortly before serving the salad, cut the goat’s cheese into discs. Cut the bacon slices in half. Wrap each disc with bacon like a package and place on a rack in the toaster oven. Cook on both sides til the bacon is crisp.
  4. Tear the lettuce into bite sized pieces. Toss with dressing and lay the goat cheese parcels on top. Drizzle with a few more drops of dressing. Add a little freshly ground pepper.

Serve immediately with crusty bread.

Notes:
* I strongly recommend that red leaf lettuce (or the mesclun that Calder suggests) be used. Romaine is just wrong with this.

** How much oil and how much vinegar? One of Dad’s friends is Italian: a man whose father had handed down the perfect salad dressing recipe to him (father to son kind of thing for generations). As I recall, the recipe goes as follows:

A generous man puts in the oil;
A stingy man puts in the vinegar;
And a careful man puts in the salt.

salad Serve the salad with good crusty bread. (Note that there is a library copy of “The Bread Bible” by Rose Levy Beranbaum in the photo. It is a great book; after perusing it (renewing it until I reached the renewal limit), it is high on my ‘wish list’. It is filled with really excellent bread recipes and tips.)

Last night we had a wonderful red leaf salad (I nixed Romaine, playing the “Romaine costs 20¢ more than red leaf” card) with a simple vinaigrette, bacon pieces and NO goat’s cheese. Even though it wasn’t Laura’s salad, it was still awfully good.

But maybe we can try Laura’s salad again next week… please? Pretty please with toasted pine nuts on top?

 

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  • MrsBrown

    This salad looks excellent. I think I’ll try it for lunch today. mmm, toasted pine nuts!

    I’m always reluctant to wrap bacon around anything–it usually comes out overcooked on one side and uncooked on the other side. Maybe if I cook it until it’s mostly done but still malleable, it might make me feel better.

    When you make this salad again, will you heat the goat cheese until it’s very hot? as Laura Calder says in her recipe.

    What is it about Romaine lettuce? The Romaine we grow in our garden is wonderful but the Romaine we get at the supermarket is so bland. I usually get the large box of mixed baby greens and have a large handful every day for lunch.

  • ejm

    That’s the problem with bacon wrapped things, isn’t it. We were considering par-frying the bacon in a pan before wrapping the goat cheese. That way the cheese might not get so grainy. The other alternative would be to fry bacon and break it into pieces and then gently fry the goat cheese discs in the bacon fat just until they are warm and starting to soften.

    Maybe commercial Romaine lettuce gets picked early too?? Who knows what they do to it to keep it “fresh”? :stomp: Commercial Romaine tastes pretty much like iceberg lettuce to me now: tastefree.

  • What a pity the salad was disappointing – the concept sounds awe-inspiring :( I mean, bacon, goats cheese, what can go wrong? But I’m sure you could have fun changing variables till you get it right.

    And yes, why the heck do husbands (and mothers!) always have to be RIGHT in the end?? Aaarrrgh!

    Jeanne, I’m convinced that the failure was largely due to using Romaine lettuce (HA!! It turns out that husbands aren’t right about EVERYTHING after all. ;-)) And we will use this bacon/goat cheese combination again. I think that par-cooking the bacon might do the trick so the goat cheese doesn’t get over-cooked. With red leaf lettuce – or meslun as Calder suggests – the salad should be fantastic. -Elizabeth