life is just a salad bowl of cherries

Remember the wonderful combination of goat cheese and cherries? We’re going to revisit that duo in the form of a salad. A warm goat cheese salad with cherry vinaigrette. Make your salad the main entree for dinner with a few added touches.

The cherries are pitted and placed in the blender. Then, they are blended with some extra virgin olive oil, garlic, dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, honey, chives, and kosher salt.  

http://www.marthastewart.com/852369/garlic-oil

The garlic is placed in a cold pan with the olive oil. Gently warm the garlic and oil. The second you start to smell the garlic it tells you the process is complete. Remove the garlic and allow the oil to cool.

Wash salad greens and let dry. To make the warm goat cheese, form a small well out of aluminum foil. Slice some goat cheese and place in well. Drizzle some olive oil on the goat cheese. Spread some dried bread crumbs in an even layer. Add a pinch of salt.

To adjust the seasoning, you want to taste the vinaigrette. The best way to test how the vinaigrette is seasoned is to taste it with a salad leaf.

Toss some sliced almonds in a dry pan on a low flame. Keep the almonds rotating in the pan to evenly heat the nuts. It takes about 1-2 minutes to toast the almonds completely. remove the pan from the flame. Let the almonds cool.

One of the ways to ruin a salad, is to toss it too soon, or to use too much dressing. Here are two ways to avoid these situations.

If you are assembling the salad ahead of time, put the vinaigrette in the bottom of the salad bowl. Don’t toss it until you are ready to serve.

Nothing spoils a salad more than overly dressed greens. The greens should be lightly dressed to keep the greens crisp. Instead of pouring the vinaigrette on the greens, run it around the side of the salad bowl. This lets the dressing slowly run down the sides of the bowl. Push the greens up into the streams of vinaigrette. If you think you need more vinaigrette, repeat the process.

Set the broiler to low. Put the aluminum foil well with the goat cheese under the broiler. Keep a close watch. The cheese can go from slightly brown to burnt quickly. The goat cheese will brown in about 1 minute.

Toss in almonds and place goat cheese on top. We’re getting ready to close out our first week of the blogathon!

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