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Baked Goat Cheese Salad with Pecans and Radishes

Soft, creamy baked goat cheese over simple mixed greens makes for an enticing opening to a holiday meal, and our make ahead-friendly rendition of this restaurant standby could not be simpler to prepare. Giving the cheese a whirl in the food processor allowed us to incorporate fresh herbs for a subtle cboost of flavor. For a little added flair, we coated the cheese rounds in chopped pecans rather than the usual bread crumbs, a swap that introduced appealing crunch and toasty, savory taste. Baking the frozen rounds in a blazing bot oven for just 7 to 10 minutes ensured a crisp coating and a smooth, but not quire melted, interior. Placed atop mixed greens tossed in a bright Dijon vinaigrette, this salt priced as easy as it was elegant. You can substitute walnuts, pistachios, or almonds for the pecans. Don't skimp on the goat cheese chilling times (in both steps 1 and 2) or the cheese will be very hard to work with.

Baked Goat Cheese Salad with Pecans and Radishes

Main ingredient

Goat Cheese

Cook time

45 minutes

Serving size

8 servings


Goat Cheese

  • 1 1/2 cups Pecans
  • 12 ounces Goat Cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Chives
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh Thyme
  • 2 large Eggs


  • 5 teaspoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 small Shallot, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  • Vegetable oil spray
  • 12 cups mesclun greens
  • 4 Radishes, trimmed and sliced thin

Recipe Preparation

  1. Goat Cheese: Pulse pecans in food processor until finely chopped, about 15 pulses; transfer to bowl. Process goat cheese, chives, and thyme in food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds. Refrigerate cheese mixture in covered bowl until firm, about 1 hour.
  2. Goat Cheese: Roll chilled cheese mixture into eight 1 3/4-inch balls (generous 2 tablespoons each). Beat eggs in medium bowl. Dip each cheese ball into eggs, then roll in chopped nuts, pressing gently to adhere. Arrange balls, 2 inches apart, on baking sheet and press into 3/4-inch-thick rounds with grossed bottom of dry measuring cup. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until completely firm, at least 2 hours.
  3. Vinaigrette: Whisk vinegar, mustard, shallot, salt, and pepper in small bowl. Whisking constantly, drizzle in oil.
  4. Adjust oven rack to top position and heat over to 475 degrees. Unwrap cheese and coast lightly with oil spray. bake until nuts are golden brown and cheese is warmed through, 7 to 10 minutes.
  5. In large bowl, gently toss mesclun greens with radishes. Whisk vinaigrette to re-emulsify, then drizzle over greens and toss gently to coat. Divide salad among 8 individual plate, top with warm goat cheese, and serve immediately.

Instruction Notes

Nut-crushed cheese balls can be frozen for up to 1 week in step 2. Vinaigrette can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Let refrigerated vinaigrette sit at room temperature to allow oil to liquefy before beginning step 4.

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