First off, let me admit here and now, that I got this recipe from People Magazine. I never read People unless I am getting a pedicure or waiting at a doctor’s office, which isn’t that often. People seems to have a new feature article with a celebrity and a recipe, in this case the anniversary of Nicole Kidman and that guy she is married to, Kevin somebody. The salad was apparently served at their dinner and they included the recipe. It is marvelous and pairs exceedingly well with wine.
To prepare the salad, you begin with a goat cheese cream which allows you to get a bit of goat cheese in every bite. After spreading the goat cheese cream on the plate, you follow up with a arugula tossed with any Italian vinaigrette. I don’t tend to like the bitterness of straight arugula, so we used a baby green salad mix. We also didn’t toss the salad with the vinaigrette, but instead, sprinkled it on top. In this way it didn’t weigh down the lettuce and gave a must lighter presentation.
You then top the salad and vinaigrette with cherry tomatoes (perfectly beautiful from the farmers market right now), sprinkle a pesto made from some of the baby lettuce or arugula, balsalmic vinegar, toasted pine nut and violà, you have a beautiful salad. (picture coming soon!)
As for the wine pairing, this went beautifully with Chardonnay as well as many of the reds we tried. (Okay, we made this twice while spending the week with my parents in Carmel and were able to try a few different wines with it!) The earthiness of the goat cheese really accentuates the earthy characters of Malbec and Syrah (as in the Shiraz/Cabernet).
This is a terrific opening salad and we hope you enjoy it!