Thursday, May 3, 2012

Hummus and Goat Cheese Salad

When I was on the west coast, there was a Gordon Biersch around the corner from my office. Yes, the beer was tasty, but not being a big drinker, that's not why I went there. My primary go-to was their warm goat cheese and hummus salad, served on warm parmesan flat bread. Their flat bread was made with white flour, so I'd let myself have a small wedge and leave the rest. It was somewhat torturesome, but the rest of the salad was so tasty and filling that it didn't matter too much.

Since moving away, I've made the salad myself several times, though usually forgo the flat bread. Today, however, I wanted that contrast of the warm bread and cool salad merging with the soft gooey goat cheese.

I made a simple flat bread (whole wheat flour, salt, water, carmelized onions and olive oil. Edit: I outlined how to make it here.) and composed the rest of the salad while it baked. The salad itself was a simple one of romaine lettuce and fresh tomato with a lemon vinaigrette (approx 2 parts olive oil to 1 part lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper, thyme-- whisked until emulsified). Roasted red peppers are also very nice in this salad. I didn't have any peppers on-hand.

I topped it all with leftover tomato basil hummus and disks of goat cheese I'd rolled in seasoned whole wheat panko and baked for approx 8 minutes (I've also encrusted the goat cheese with toasted sunflower seeds on other occasions- it depends on what I have in my pantry that will provide some crunch). Warning: the goat cheese is extremely soft after baking. Transfer carefully with a small spatula onto the salad or you'll end up with goat cheese goo (which, let's face it, still tastes pretty incredible, it's just not as pretty). I'll admit I'm less careful with the goat cheese if it's just for myself because I'm just going to mix it all up anyway ;-)

The warm, oven-fresh flat bread tastes good on its own or topped with a bit of salad, but it's even better dipped into the hummus and/or a spread of the warm goat cheese.


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