Monday, February 16, 2015

Chez Panisse's Baked Goat's Cheese Saald

During our honeymoon we had one memorable meal. We were young and poor at the time, so we planned to have one fancy meal out during our week in Quebec City. We went to a restaurant called Toast near our auberge (inn). It was the most expensive meal either of us had eaten up to that point in life. (I seem to recall that it cost about $100. This was ten years ago, by the way.)

We still talk about some parts of that meal. We remember Anthony ordering a salad that came presented in a massive bowl that tilted the spinach leaves towards him. There was a piece of baguette balanced on the leaves, covered with two pieces of oozing, baked goat's cheese.

That salad came to mind again recently when I was reading Food Gurus for the Kitchen Reader last month. (Here's my review.) I was happy to read that Alice Waters of Chez Panisse restaurant in California also makes a baked goat's cheese salad. I was keen to try her recipe.

Here is one version of the recipe. As for me, I marinated and baked the goat's cheese, as instructed by Waters. Then used it to top a salad of spinach and rocket with cherry tomatoes in memory of our honeymoon meal. I made a simple balsamic vinaigrette (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper) to top it all off.

Anthony and I had our baked goat's cheese salad with dinner recently. It was just as satisfying as our remembered salad, and somehow recreating it to enjoy again made us even more happy about the initial fancy restaurant experience. We talked about what a great week we had in Quebec, what a great meal we had at Toast, and what a great intervening life we have had around the world.

Tell me about a memorable meal that you would like to recreate.

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