Ingredients (for 4 servings):*
120 gr (4.5 oz) Mesclin (mixed baby lettuce leaves)
50 gr (2 oz) Baby spinach greens with stems removed
16 Small cherry tomatoes
4 patties”80 gr (3 oz+) each of fresh white goat’s cheese. (Slightly aged will do if kneaded with a bit of cold water into a pasty consistency).
50 gr (2 oz) Toasted bread crumbs
Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil (Provençal for the intended taste)*.
Pat of butter
20 gr (2oz) Toasted Pine Nuts
Herbes de Provence
Preparation and cooking:
1. Beat the egg. Dip the “patties” of goat cheese into the egg batter, then coat in the bread crumbs and finally rub in some herbs de Provence (see photo).
2. Toss the mesclin in a very light dressing of vinaigrette (see the recipe for the Tartar de Tomate). Arrange the mesclin and the spinach leaves on the center of the plate.
3. Cut the tomatoes in half, 8 per plate and arrange in a circle face up on the mesclin. Sprinkle pin nuts over the salad. At this point, the dishes can be placed in the fridge and left for later to finish and serve..
4. In a hot skillet, cook the rounds of chèvre in a mixture of olive oil and a pat of butter until golden.
5. Arrange on the middle of the salad surrounded by the halves of cherry tomatoes.
6. Drizzle more of the vinaigrette around the plate and serve while the chèvre is still warm and soft.
(Chef Canino has also served this salad with a couple of toasted almonds as well and used a sprig of fresh thyme or rosemary as a decoration.)
* The olive oil used by Chef Canino is produced by the Co-Op in Manosque from olives grown around Manosque in the Haute-Provence. It is an olive oil that wins national awards every year so it is of high quality. It is distinguished by its full, fruity flavor with a bit of a bite. If an olive oil from Provence cannot be obtained, choose an olive oil that is also fruity and has a bite rather than a mild, gentle oil.