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Dinner Date

Jul 02, 2013 10:23AM ● Published by Style

Recipe and cookbook images by Colin Clark; wine bottle photo courtesy of Jackson Family Wines.

Pistachio-Crusted Goat Cheese with French Beans, Radicchio, Endive, Red Grapes and Sherry Vinaigrette

From The New Wine Country Cookbook: Recipes from California’s Central Coast by Brigit Binns

(Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2013, $35)

  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/3 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs) or fine dry bread crumbs
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 (3 1/2-oz.) rounds fresh goat cheese, very cold, sliced crosswise through the center to create 6 disks about 1-1/4 inches thick

Sherry Vinaigrette

  • 2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tbsp. pistachio oil or fruity extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 oz. fine French green beans, trimmed
  • 1 medium head radicchio, quartered, cored and slivered
  • 2 medium heads Belgian endive, quartered lengthwise, cores trimmed away and slivered lengthwise
  • 2 cups red grapes, halved

In a food processor, pulse the pistachios into a powder (don’t overdo it, or you’ll end up with nut butter). In a small, shallow bowl, mix together the ground pistachios and panko. Place the olive oil in another small, shallow bowl. Gently turn each disk of goat cheese in the olive oil to coat all sides, then dredge through the crumb mixture, patting the crust gently to help it adhere. Place on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining disks. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
To make the vinaigrette, in a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a small saucepan of rapidly boiling, lightly salted water, blanch the green beans for 2 to 3 minutes, depending on their size. Drain immediately and refresh under cool running water until no longer steaming. Drain on a clean kitchen towel. Transfer the baking sheet of coated cheese to the oven and bake for 5 minutes, or until the disks are just beginning to soften and collapse slightly.
Add the green beans, radicchio, endive and grapes to the bowl of dressing. Toss thoroughly, until everything is evenly coated with the vinaigrette. With a metal spatula, transfer each goat cheese round to the center of a plate. Mound the salad over and around, and serve at once. Serves 6 as an appetizer.

 

KENDALL-JACKSON VINTNER’S RESERVE CHARDONNAY 2011

Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay has been America’s number one selling Chardonnay for 20 years. Whether or not you know (or think you know) what it tastes like, you should try it again. It’s everything you’re looking for in a Chardonnay—great taste at a nice price.
The grapes for Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay 2011 are grown in cool coastal vineyards, thus making it fruit-forward, divinely complex, approachable and very food friendly. You’ll taste tropical flavors of pineapple, mango and papaya with notes of citrus; a hint of toasted oak completes the long, lingering finish.
My customers love it and at approximately $15 a bottle, it’s a great wine for any occasion that pairs perfectly with this month’s pistachio-crusted goat cheese salad with sherry vinaigrette.

Richard Righton
Owner, Bidwell Street Bistro in Folsom

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