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Baked Goat Cheese & Watercress Salad

 image baked goat cheese and watercress with flowers
This salad is another example of how to our recipe for marinated goat cheese. I like to serve it with a light mix of greens such as watercress, baby arugula or a mixture of other baby or micro greens. I like to dress the watercress with a very simple Meyer lemon vinaigrette, but with the stronger arugula, you might try a red wine & balsamic vinaigrette.  You can also serve the baked goat cheese on a crostini as an appetizer.

Serves 2 to 4


2 cups of fresh bread crumbs or Panko
4 disks of young fresh goat cheese, approximately 1/2” thick and marinated according our recipe for marinated goat cheese.
fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme, celery leaves, chives, green onions, finely chopped, approximately 1/2 cup
Meyer lemon vinaigrette, recipe below
croutons, or edible flowers
extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Remove the marinated disks of goat cheese from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.  If you are not using marinated goat cheese, you can also brush the disks with some extra virgin olive oil.  Combine the fresh bread crumbs or Panko with the finely chopped fresh herbs.  Remove the goat cheese disks from the marinade and let the excess olive oil drop off.  Dredge the goat cheese in the bread crumbs on all side and place in an oiled oven proof dish.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top of the disks and bake until golden, warm and soft, about 5 to 10 minutes. 

 image baked goat cheese and watercress saladDress the watercress with the Meyer lemon vinaigrette just before serving.  Place a warm goat cheese disk on top of the watercress, add several croutons or garnish with edible flowers and serve.  If you are serving this salad as a main course at lunch with some soup you may want to serve 2 or 3 disks on a large plate.

Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Juice from 1 Meyer lemon or other fresh lemon, approximately 4 tablespoons
extra virgin olive oil, approximately 3/4 cup
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Add the Meyer lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper to a small bowl.  Then slowly add the olive oil, whisking as it is added.  The final amount of oil will depend on the actual amount of juice from the lemon and your personal taste.  Generally you want to have a ratio of 1 part acid (lemon juice, vinegar, etc) to 3 parts oil.  I prefer a vinaigrette with is closer to 2 or 2 1/2 parts oil, but again make it according to your preference.  Taste and adjust the oil or lemon juice.
To make a basic red wine vinaigrette just use red wine vinegar or perhaps a mixture of red wine vinegar  and balsamic vinegar and then add the oil in the same ratio as above.  You can modify the vinaigrette, to your taste, by adding such things as a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, some minced garlic, finely chopped fresh herbs, or some dried herbs such as oregano, before whisking in the oil.