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Mixed greens with Dates, Herbed Goat Cheese and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Mixed greens with Dates, Herbed Goat Cheese and Balsamic Vinaigrette

This is probably my favorite salad- in the summertime I substitute nectarines for the dates- also really fantastic. There’s something about the combination of the sweet dates, the herbed goat cheese, and the toasted pecans- all perfectly complimented by the balsamic dressing- and my children love it as well!

 Makes six servings

 Vinaigrette:

4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
 coarse salt
 freshly ground black pepper
 1/2 cup olive oil

 Salad:      

12 cups mixed baby greens
3/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans (see Note)
1/2 cup thinly sliced pitted dates
 4 ounces soft fresh herbed goat cheese, crumbled

Note: To toast the pecans, place on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant.

To make the vinaigrette:

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Slowly whisk in the oil until well blended.

To make the salad:

In a large bowl, toss the greens with the vinaigrette. Divide among six plates and top each with the pecans, dates and goat cheese.