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Baked Goat Cheese With Garden Lettuces
From “Chez Panisse Café Cookbook,” by Alice Waters Published in The New York Times

8 ounces fresh goat cheese (1 log, 2 by 5 inches)

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped

1 small sprig rosemary, chopped

Half of a sour baguette, preferably a day old

1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar

1 teaspoon sherry vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive or walnut oil, or a combination

1/2 pound mixed lettuces.

1. Carefully slice the goat cheese into 8 discs about ½-inch thick. Pour 1 cup olive oil over the discs and sprinkle with the chopped herbs. Cover and store in a cool place for several hours or up to one week.

2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Cut the baguette in half lengthwise and put it in the oven for 20 minutes or so, until dry and lightly colored. Grate into fine crumbs on a box grater or in a food processor. If the crumbs are still soft, place them back in the oven for a few minutes until dry. The crumbs can be made in advance and stored until needed.

3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. (A toaster oven works well, too.) Remove the cheese discs from the marinade and roll them in the bread crumbs, coating them thoroughly. Place the discs on a small baking sheet and cook for about 6 minutes, until the cheese is warm.

4. Measure the vinegars into a small bowl and add a big pinch of salt. Whisk in ¼ cup oil and a little pepper. Taste for seasoning and adjust. Toss the lettuces lightly with just enough vinaigrette to coat and arrange on salad plates. With a metal spatula, carefully place 2 discs of the baked cheese on each plate.

Serves 4.

The New York Times 
Published: December 30, 2009
Photograph by: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

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