Recipe: Baked Goat Cheese with Young Lettuces & Orange Vinaigrette

Photo credit: Celebrated Memoir Ghostwriter

Photo credit: Celebrated Memoir Ghostwriter

from Jason McHugh, Cooking School of the Rockies

For the Goat Cheese:
4 or 6 Haystack Mountain Goat Cheese rounds
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, stemmed and chopped
2 teaspoons fresh tarragon, stemmed and chopped
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, stemmed and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, stemmed and chopped
freshly ground black pepper

For the Salad:
3/4 lb. young local lettuces, washed and spun dry
4 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1/4 – 1/2 cup orange vinaigrette (recipe follows)
optional: orange sections

Preheat oven to 350° F. Place the oil in a small bowl and coat each cheese round with oil. Place the herbs in another bowl and toss the rounds with the herbs to coat. Place the goat cheese on a small sheet pan and season with a few grinds of black pepper. Bake the goat cheese for 10 minutes.

As the cheese bakes, prepare the salads. Toss the lettuce with the vinaigrette just to coat and arrange on individual plates. Garnish with the hazelnuts and the orange sections if desired. Serve.

Orange Vinaigrette:
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 small shallot, peeled and minced fine
1 tablespoon honey
2 – 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1/2 cup expeller pressed canola oil
1-2 teaspoons orange oil
salt and white pepper

Place the orange juice and shallot in a small pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the juice to 2 tablespoons and add the honey to dissolve.

Cool.

Combine the reduced juice and 2 tablespoons of the vinegar and some salt. Taste the combination and decide if more vinegar is necessary. Whisk in the canola oil or add in a blender. Add the orange oil and correct the seasoning with salt and white pepper.

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