The fall season is a beautiful time of year. The leaves change and the colors of nature are TREMENDOUS! Yes, life is a beautiful series of events and nature is one fantastic artist. The colors of the sky, the sculptures of the landscape. Yes, we are truly blessed. If we only slow down, look around and take the time to “smell the roses”!
Food, just like life is a series of courses, that build upon each other. In most cases, a multi-course dinner will build on flavors. Starting with a more subtle blend of flavors (the appetizer), building into more bold and stimulating flavors (the main course) then taking you back down with a sweet ending (dessert). Our menu for this Thanksgiving started with a delicious curried butternut squash soup. A nice subtle start that is warm and soothing to the soul.
Next, we are going to roll into a refreshing salad made with warm goat cheese medallions encrusted with walnuts and finished with a raspberry vinaigrette. Something about goat cheese reminds me of the fall time of year and in this recipe serving it warm makes it creamy, rich and oh so satisfying.
SALAD CHEVRE’ NOUVEAU
For 4 salads
8 oz. European Baby salad greens (1 – bag pre-washed)
1 pint, Fresh Raspberries
1 – Cup candied walnuts (make a simple syrup and then toss your nuts in the syrup and let drain on cooling rack or in a colander, then put on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake @ 250 degrees for 20 minutes or so. Remove and let cool.)
8 oz. or more Goats cheese, (in log form), cut into finger thick slices
1 – cup plus ¼ cup*(reserve for vinaigrette) Crushed walnuts (you can substitute pecans or macadamia’s; when chopping nuts, it is good to add a little sugar, to prevent them from clumping up)
½ – cup Raspberry Vinegar
1 – cup Walnut oil
¼ – cup chopped nuts*
¼ – cup fresh raspberries
Salt and pepper to taste
In a food processor or a bar blender place the vinegar, nuts, raspberries and puree until smooth. Next, drizzle in the walnut oil with the machine running until thoroughly incorporated. Stop the machine, remove the cover and pour into a separate bowl. Season with the salt and pepper to taste.
Take the goats cheese (very cold) and cut into 8 slices. Roll or coat with the chopped nuts. Place on a heatproof baking dish and place in a pre-heated three hundred, fifty-degree oven. Bake for just a couple of minutes. On four, nice salad plates, divide the greens and sprinkle some of the chopped nuts over the greens. Sprinkle some of the fresh raspberries and candied nuts around. Next, take the goat cheese encrusted with nuts and gently remove from pan with a pie spatula and place on top of the salad greens (two pieces per salad). Next drizzle the raspberry vinaigrette over the greens. Grind a few grinds of black pepper and now it is time to ‘mow down’!
That salad is soooo good! Very simple yet packed full of flavor. Life should be the same way. Simple, but not too over complicated, while at the same time, packed full of excitement and flavor.
Starting today, give thanks for one thing everyday. Take out a piece of paper and write it down and don’t repeat. Do this everyday until the end of the year. You will be amazed on how many things you have to be grateful for.
Here are a few teasers to get your brain stimulated…
You can be thankful for being able to read this article to see! To be able to hear, to smell, to walk, to touch your nose! You can be thankful for the gift of life, for the gift of sleep, the gift of taste. For your freedom, for your ability to grow. O.K. that should get you started.
Be grateful. Yes, just be grateful. Period! Be happy too (SMILE, that is a good way of showing you are happy)! Life is so precious, please don’t forget that. Until next time, Peace!
Find purpose, the means will follow. -Gandhi