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Lettuce Salad with Spiced Goat Cheese Rounds

09 July

Ingredients:

Goat Cheese Rounds:
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons paprika
teaspoon fresh chopped thyme
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
16 (1/3-inch thick) rounds chilled soft fresh goat cheese (from one 11 ounce log)

Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 shallot, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
5 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt

Salad:
1 pound potatoes, halved (or quartered, depending on size)
8 cups loosely packed lettuces. Mixed
1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves (tear the large leaves into smaller pieces)
12 ounces small tomatoes
½ cup black olives of choice

Directions:

For the cheese rounds:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. Mix first 6 ingredients in a shallow bowl. Dip cut sides of goat cheese rounds into spice mixture to coat. Place on paper on the baking sheet. Chill to serve. Do ahead (can be up to 1 day ahead). Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature to serve.

For vinaigrette:
Whisk first 4 ingredients together in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Season with sea salt and pepper. Can be made a day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Re-whisk before using.

For the salad:
1. Steam potatoes until just tender, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cool.
2. Combine greens and basil in a large bowl. Add enough vinaigrette to coat lightly; toss. Arrange on a platter. Add potatoes and tomatoes to the same bowl and add remaining dressing and toss to coat. Arrange potatoes and tomatoes atop greens. Scatter the olives over. Surround with the goat cheese rounds.

Makes 4 main-course servings

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