Warm Goat Cheese Rounds with Walnut Pesto + Mache

You either love it or hate it. 
Goat cheese, that is. 
I am a fan, especially when it's creamy and mild and melts in your mouth when warmed. 
The variations are endless.
Add some greens, and you have a humble feast. 

{Warm Goat Cheese Rounds with Walnut Pesto + Mache}
This recipe starts with panko breadcrumbs, which give the cheese a delicate crunchy bite when baked in the oven until golden brown. I topped it with a dollop of walnut pesto + a few sprinklings of chopped walnuts. 


 6 oz. goat cheese {in a log}
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons Walnut Pesto 
1 Tablespoon chopped walnut pieces {untoasted}
juice of one orange
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 shallot, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + 1 Tablespoon walnut oil 
{* if you don't have walnut oil,  use 3 Tablespoons olive oil}

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
With a piece of dental floss or  paring knife dipped in warm water, cut the goat cheese crosswise into six equal rounds.  Rub each slice of goat cheese  with olive oil on both sides and then dredge in the bread crumbs until lightly coated. Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Divide the walnut pesto and place atop the coated rounds of cheese. Top with the walnut pieces. Bake in the oven for about 10-12 minutes, or just until the goat cheese is warmed and slightly melting and the bread crumbs are a light golden brown.  Remove from the oven.

To make the vinaigrette for the greens, add the orange juice, vinegar, shallot, salt and pepper to a mixing bowl. Whisk in the oil until the dressing is emsulsified.
Dress the greens with the vinaigrette.  Top with the goat cheese rounds and serve immediately. 

Serves six as an appetizer or salad course. 

Buon appetito! copyright 2010 Alisa Barry

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