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It takes a lot for me to eat a salad. There has to be something mighty good mixed into all the raw greens or else I’m just not interested. This salad here is one of the few that manages to pique and hold my attention. Its highlight is warm and crispy breadcrumb-coated goat cheese and tarragon patties. If these are in a salad, I’ll happily eat my greens.
The strong tarragon flavor complements the tangy and creamy goat cheese, the crispy breadcrumbs add a nice, delicate crunch and the pomegranate seeds round out everything with their sweetness. The baby kale is strong enough in texture and flavor to hold up to the patties. (But don’t feel that you have to use kale, arugula, spinach or romaine will work just as well).
I debated wether to call this an appetizer or a main course and eventually settled on main. You can make it an appetizer but I would suggest only one patty per person for that.
Hope you like it!
- 6 ounces goat cheese
- 2 slices white or whole wheat sandwich bread
- 1 egg
- 3 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 3½ tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- greens of your choice (baby kale, romaine, spinach, arugula, etc.)
- pomegranate seeds
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Beat the egg and put on one plate.
- Process the bread into crumbs and place them on another plate.
- Divide the cheese into four pieces.
- Evenly divide the tarragon and fold into the cheese with your hands.
- Form the cheese into disks with your hands.
- Roll the cheese disks in the egg and then in the breadcrumbs.
- Place the disks on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil.
- Bake the cheese until golden brown on the outside (10 to 15 minutes).
- While the cheese is in the oven, mix all dressing ingredients together until smooth.
- Assemble everything on plates, drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.
Food Photography and Styling: I don’t think I had ever photographed baby kale prior to ;this occasion (cause I’m neither a big kale eater nor friend of photographing the color green) and I was pleasantly surprised with how sturdy and also pretty this vegetable is. Many of the leaves had a nicely curved shape and the whole thing sat on the set for about 15 minutes without drooping a bit.
I arranged the leaves such that they formed almost a pinwheel pattern with stems sticking out toward the plate rim every so often and I cut one of the patties open to show what’s inside. The dressing was not exactly a looker but thankfully it didn’t distract too much. I lit the set from the side with my strobe and blocked the light in the top and bottom parts of the frame to create a spotlight on the dish.
Nikon D600, 105mm, f/8, 1/125 sec., ISO 100. One Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 Monolight, 35″ x 58″ Softbox.