Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Marinated Tomato Salad with Sesame-Crusted Goat Cheese

Our new thing seems to be all things Asian. We recently purchased the book Simply Ming: Easy Techniques for East-Meets-West Meals. This was the first recipe we prepared from it and if this is any indication of how the rest of the book will turn out, I'm excited!

Again, we're following the same theme as the last post with fresh, local tomatoes being the stars of the dish. This makes a great side, light lunch, dinner or even an appetizer. If you can get your hands on heirloom tomatoes, all the better. We used Cherokee Purples and Brandy Wine yellows.

The fresh, local goat cheese is cut into rounds, coated in sesame seeds, and pan fried. It tops off this dish beautifully and the crunchy, nutty sesame crust melts into the creamy, smooth cheese inside.

The book recommends using a thin-bladed knife warmed under hot water then dried to cut the cheese log. We put the rounds in the freezer before frying so it kept it's shape better.

Give this easy but delicious recipe a try, then come back and tell me how delicious it was!

Marinated Tomato Salad with Sesame-Crusted Goat Cheese

Serves 4

  • 4 large ripe tomatoes, sliced 1⁄4 inch thick
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black peppercorn
  • 1 small onion, white or sweet (such as Vidalia, Maui, or Walla Walla), halved and very thinly sliced
  • Leaves from 1⁄2 bunch of basil, sliced into very thin ribbons
  • 1⁄2 cup Five-Herb Vinaigrette (recipe below)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons water
  • 1⁄2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 large log (8 to 12 ounces) of goat cheese, cut into twelve 1⁄2-inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  1. Arrange half of the tomatoes on 4 serving plates and season with the salt and pepper. Top with half the onions and half the basil, and drizzle with half the vinaigrette. Layer over the remaining tomatoes, season again, and top with the remaining onions and basil. Coat with the remaining vinaigrette. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, separately place the flour, egg and water mixture, and sesame seeds on 3 plates. Dip the cheese rounds into the flour and the egg mixture, then coat the flat surfaces of the rounds with the seeds. As you work, place the cheese disks on another plate. (These can be done in advance and stored in the fridge.)
  3. Heat a large, nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the goat cheese disks and sauté, turning once, until brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
  4. Arrange the goat cheese on top of the tomato salads and serve immediately.

Five-Herb Vinaigrette
Makes 3 1⁄2 cups
Lasts 2 weeks, refrigerated

1⁄4 cup Dijon mustard
1⁄4 cup minced shallots
1 cup rice white vinegar
2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar, or balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons dried mint
2 tablespoons dried cilantro
2 tablespoons dried basil, preferably Thai
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons dried tarragon
2 cups grapeseed or canola oil

In a medium nonreactive bowl, combine the mustard, shallots, vinegars, mirin, sugar, mint, cilantro, basil, thyme, and tarragon. Whisk in the grapeseed oil. Use or store.

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