Warm Goat Cheese Salad with Beach Plum Balsamic Glaze

“This is my Cape Cod spin on the warm goat cheese salad Alice Waters made famous at Chez Panisse,” Chase tells me. The salad is being tossed in a beautiful wooden bowl, hand made from the West Barnstable Woodturner, just down the road. The balsamic glaze is made from wild beach plums harvested just at the bottom of the kitchen stairs. I’ve had warm goat cheese salad many times before and often the cheese is rolled in some lackluster herb, but this preparation is memorable. Toasted walnuts are finely chopped and offer a soft crunch that juxtaposes perfectly with the warm gooey cheese, while at the same time the sharp glaze plays perfectly with the richness of the cheese. The nuances are slight, but as a whole the salad made my entire afternoon.
Photography By Tom Dott | June 17, 2016


Spread the toasted nuts out on a small plate and dredge each round of goat cheese in the nuts, pressing gently and coating on all sides. Refrigerate the cheese until you are ready to assemble.

Preheat the over to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the jelly and balsamic vinegar in a small, nonreactive saucepan over medium heat and let come to a boil, stirring until the jelly melts (2-3 minutes). Stir in the shallot and let simmer until softened (about 3 minutes). Reduce heat to low and whisk in 4 tablespoons of the olive oil. Keep the glaze warm over low heat.

Place the cheese rounds on the baking sheet and bake until warm, but not oozing (7-8 minutes). Meanwhile, toss the greens with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to coat them lightly and evenly. Season the greens with sea salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the greens among 4 salad plates. Place a warm round of goat cheese in the center of each salad. Drizzle the glaze generously over the cheese and sparingly over the greens and serve.

Words by Tom Dott / Recipe from Sarah Leah Chase’s New England Open-House Cookbook: 300 Recipes Inspired by the Bounty of New England

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  • ⅔ cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 log (6 ounces) creamy goat cheese, cut into 4 equal pieces
  • ½ cup beach plum jelly
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced peeled shallot
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 to 5 cups baby greens or mesclun
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
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