Last night I was chatting with my fave Manhattan girl Cassandra and we both mentioned how we haven't eaten salads in a long time, due to the chilly weather and switch to soup-based meal planning. Reverse psychology works, I guess, because after that discussion, a salad was all I could think to eat tonight. I crammed just about every autumn flavor I could find into this gorgeous supper salad and I topped it with some show-stopping baked goat cheese medallions.
I have made a similar version of this baked cheese before with fresh mozzarella, trying to make a lighter version of restaurant mozzarella sticks. It would also be a great way to use up more of that roasted tomato sauce I have so much of for dipping! It's a pretty classy appetizer if you're entertaining.
The first thing you need to do is prepare your cheese. If using fresh mozzarella, use those balls that are the size of cherry tomatoes, or slice some off one of those big logs. For goat cheese, which is quite a bit more delicate, I used dental floss to slice off a couple pieces.
Then you put some breadcrumbs into the bottom of a muffin pan and drizzle with a little olive oil. Place your cheese on the breadcrumbs and press lightly so the crumbs stick. Top with more breadcrumbs and oil. Bake until cheese is hot and melty and breadcrumbs are golden brown.
I put these yummy medallions of hot gooey goat cheese on top of some leaf lettuce, dried cranberries, roasted buttercup squash, and toasted pumpkin seeds. This was a fabulous way to re-introduce myself to salads. I've missed them!
Fall Salad with Baked Goat Cheese
dried cranberries (mine were from the co-op and sweetened with apple cider instead of sugar)
roasted buttercup squash (leftover from my soup)
pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted
goat cheese, sliced
Place breadcrumbs in bottom of muffin pan and drizzle with olive oil, add sliced cheese, top with more breadcrumbs and oil. Layer all ingredients on a plate, top with baked goat cheese, salt and pepper. Serve with a freshly made balsamic vinaigrette and, of course, wine.