This salad is fun to make, at least for me, and is a nice alternative to most salads I generally throw together by doing nothing more than washing, slicing, and combining ingredients. It also tastes fantastic. If you like goat cheese, this is worth a try. It does have walnuts, however, so if you're not a fan of them, or are allergic to nuts, you could leave them out or perhaps substitute for them with something else.
I got this recipe from Sunset Complete Vegetarian Cookbook, which my mom gave to me about fifteen years ago when I was doing the vegetarian thing. I still use this cookbook a LOT and recommend it highly to anyone who's looking for delicious meatless dishes. I have several vegetarian cookbooks, and none of them compare to Sunset. In fact, none of them even come close.
This recipe takes about 15-20 minutes to prepare, and another 10 minutes or so for baking the walnuts and broiling the goat cheese.
3/4 cup walnut pieces
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
6 oz medium-firm goat cheese (chevre)
10-12 oz mixed salad greens (I use sweet baby lettuce)
1. Spread the walnuts evenly in a large shallow baking pan and bake in a 400 degree oven for about 5 minutes, or until they turn a dark golden brown. (Be careful; walnuts burn easily, at least in my oven.)
2. Combine vinegar, mustard, and oil in a bowl, then mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Cut the goat cheese into 6 equal pieces and place in the original pan with walnuts. Broil about 3 inches below heat source for around 3 minutes or until your cheese is speckled brown and slightly melted.
4. Arrange mixed salad greens on 6 plates.
5. Place a piece of warm goat cheese in the center of each salad and sprinkle with nuts. Serve with dressing. Makes 6 servings.