• blog, Food

As the year winds down and my cooking becomes increasingly root vegetable-heavy, I find myself craving bright, fresh flavors. The day after Thanksgiving, I make a salad of romaine, cold Bartlett pears cut into slivers, toasted pecans and baked goat cheese, a bright meal in the midst of a dark winter’s night. The shallot dressing with red wine vinegar and Dijon adds a pop of acidity. Adding some orange zest and a teaspoon of orange juice to the dressing would also be lovely, as would some chunks of avocado. 


  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • 4 ounce log of goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • 4 leaves of romaine lettuce, washed and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 firm Bartlett or Anjou pear, cut into bite size pieces (I like to slice in half, then each half into four slivers, then cut into pieces on an angle)
  • ½ cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with the rack in the top third of the oven. 
  2. To make the dressing, whisk together shallots, red wine vinegar, honey, mustard, salt and pepper. As you whisk, slowly pour in the olive oil until the mixture is emulsified. Set aside.
  3. Cover a half sheet pan in parchment paper. Combine panko breadcrumbs, thyme, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Gently press each slice of goat cheese in the mixture, flip, and press again to coat, then place on the prepared sheet tray. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until cheese rounds begin to turn light brown.
  4. While goat cheese is baking, arrange romaine on two plates, then tuck in pear slivers and scatter with pecans. Give the dressing a whisk if separated then pour dressing on top. 
  5. Using a metal spatula, gently lift the goat cheese rounds and place on top of the salads. Serve immediately. 

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