Winter Bitter Greens with Almonds and Goat Cheese

Apricot jam makes for an irresistible sweet-tart dressing for bitter greens. Melissa Rubel, of Food & Wine, mixes warm jam with olive oil, vinegar and herbs.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup whole raw almonds
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
6 cups baby arugula (6 ounces)
2 Belgian endives, thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 small head of radicchio, cored and finely shredded
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
3 tablespoons apricot jam
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
One 8-ounce log of fresh goat cheese, cut into 8 rounds

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Spread the almonds in a pie plate or small baking pan and toast for 10 minutes, until golden. Let cool, then coarsely chop.

In a small bowl, mix the shallot and vinegar; let stand for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, toss the arugula, endives, radicchio and almonds.

In a skillet, heat the oil, rosemary and thyme over moderate heat for 2 minutes, until they sizzle. Stir in the jam and cook until melted, 30 seconds. Add the shallot and vinegar and cook over low heat until warmed, 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the greens and toss. Mound the salad on plates, arrange 2 rounds of goat cheese on each plate and serve. Serve with artisanal bread, sliced, brushed with olive oil and toasted.

YIELD: 4 servings

SOURCE: Recipe by Melissa Rubel Jacobsen, Food & Wine, February 2009

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