Tricolore Salad with Walnut-Crusted Goat Cheese

Looking for something to make with your leftover walnuts from the chocolate-strawberry-walnut cornbread?  A-HAH!  I have just the elegant and quick solution.  Witness Tricolore Salad with Walnut-Crusted Goat Cheese!

Trico-WHAA?  Whatevs - its TASTY!

Trico-WHAA? Whatevs - it's TASTY!

Now I know it’s looks fancy, and it sounds fancy, but trust me this salad is all about appearances.  Tricolore, as you might imagine, means 3 colors.  Green, Purple, and White in this case.  And basically all you’re doing is assembling the thing.  Honestly, the hardest part of this recipe is pronouncing the names.  And because you’re only using three leaves at a time, you can make like three of these salads from just one torpedo of radicchio and one torpedo of endive.  (Yeah ok, they’re not called torpedos, but check out the links to the pictures and you’ll see what I mean.  Terminology, schmerminology, folks.)  Ok!  Enough preamble!  Here goes:

Big Knife
Cutting Board
Salad Spinner
Small frying pan and spatula (optional)

Goat cheese log
Balsamic Dressing of your choice
Small pat of butter (optional)


PREP: First make sure goat cheese log stays in fridge until you absolutely need it – goat cheese is sticky sticky and won’t cut clean if it’s not cold.  Then throw one big handful of arugula (the green) into the salad spinner, followed by three big leaves of radicchio (purple) and three leaves of endive (white) and wash it all thoroughly, spinning to dry.  Cover your plate with the arugula.  Place the large  leaves of radicchio like a star on top.  Place the leaves of endive like the rest of the star.

Chop up two handfuls of walnuts as small as you can.  (You can also put them in a baggie or paper towel and SMASH them with a mallet if you’re so inclined.  And if your neighbors won’t call the cops.)  Next you’re going to cut slices off the goat cheese log and roll each one in the walnuts BUT, you have to choose your own adventure first:

1. SIMPLEST (no heat): If you just want to eat the damn thing now and get on with your life, cut two slices of goat cheese about half an inch thick and roll them in the walnuts.  Place goat chese medallions on center of plate, drizzle balsamic vinaigrette of your choice, and skip to Number 3.

2. MORE SOPHISTICATED, TASTY, and IMPRESSIVE (heated): Cut THREE goat cheese slices a little thicker – about 3/4 of an inch or more, and heat a little butter in a small frying pan on low.  Once the butter is melted, place each walnut-crusted goat cheese medallion in pan for a minute or so on each side, careful not to burn them!  Then place in center of plate, drizzle balsamic vinaigrette of your choice and go to Number 3.


So WHY would we bother doing the frying pan and butter and all that damn hassle if we don’t have to, PunkyChef?  GLAD YOU ASKED!  Because when you heat the medallions, the flavor of the walnuts gets released a bit, which is awesome let’s face it, and the goat cheese gets warmed and creamy and milder and mixes with the textures and flavors of the salad better.  I highly recommend it if you feel daring, Dahling!

You can of course make your own balsamic dressing, (2 parts olive oil, 1 part bals vinegar, salt, pepper, honey and or sugar to taste), and it’s well-worth the experimentation if you’re into it.  But I wanted a quick lunch with little mess, so I went the store-bought route here.  Plus I get
Newman’s Own which donates ALL of their profits, and I did say ALL, to charity.  So that makes lunch taste just that much better, eh?  (Also they have TONS of cool salad recipes at that link I just gave you – check it out!)

One more hint: if you can’t find goat cheese in a log, get it however it comes and then enclose it in plastic wrap, or better yet wax paper, and roll it out on your counter like dough.  Then throw in the fridge while you’re getting the lettuces ready so it gets more solid again before you cut it.


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