Mesclun Salad with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Vinaigrette
3⁄4 cup plus 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic
1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
12 lightly packed cups mesclun greens
1 cup dried cranberries
1⁄2 cup pecan halves, toasted
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
4 oz. goat cheese, chilled
1. Heat oven to 350°. Toss bread cubes with 1 tbsp. of the oil in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Arrange bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake until crisp and golden brown, 12–14 minutes. Let cool.
2. Roughly chop garlic; sprinkle with a little salt. Using the side of a knife, scrape garlic into a paste; transfer to a bowl. Add vinegar and mustard; whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in remaining oil while whisking constantly to form a smooth vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Combine croutons, mesclun, cranberries, pecans, and thyme in a bowl. Add some of the dressing; toss well to combine. (Reserve remaining dressing for another use.) Crumble goat cheese over salad and divide between plates.
SERVES 4 – 6