Saturday, December 22, 2012

Pecan & Cranberry Crusted Goat Cheese Salad

I’ve never been one of those people. The ones who “do lunch.” You know, the fancy people who always seem suuuuuper busy but can always “do lunch” sometime.

Puh-leaz. I do lunch every day. I can’t not do it. I schedule my classes at school around it. I start thinking about lunch as soon as I take my last bite of breakfast.

Lately though, with work and baking and other holidays to-dos, lunch has consisted of cookie dough, cookies, frosting, or some combination thereof. Delicious for a while, but not a sustainable meal plan. Mainly because I have to wear jeans to work. 

That’s where this salad comes in. It’s light but satisfying. Not fussy but a little fancy. Warm, creamy goat cheese, with it’s familiar tang balances out the tart apples and slightly spicy and sweet red onion. The tart cranberries and buttery pecans round out a meal that almost makes me miss cookies.

Pecan and Cranberry Crusted Goat Cheese Salad (serves 1, but can easily be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled)

2 TBSP dried cranberries

¼ cup pecan halves

2 ounces fresh goat cheese, softened

¼ of an apple, thinly sliced

2 TBSP thinly sliced red onions

2 cups spring mix salad blend

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a small ramekin in baking spray and set aside.

Pulse the cranberries and pecans in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Press half of the mixture into prepared ramekin. Top with goat cheese, pressing down firmly to form a solid layer, followed by the remaining half of the nut mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 5 – 8 minutes, or until cheese is warmed through.

While the cheese bakes, toss the apple, red onion, and salad in a large bowl. Top with warmed goat cheese and serve immediately.

Salad, then cookies. And cookies. And cookies. 

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