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Baby Arugula, Cherry Tomatoes, Pine Nuts and Pancetta Salad with Warm Goat Cheese

Baby arugula, tossed with cherry tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, crispy bits of pancetta and lemony vinaigrette. I like to call it a sunny, summery salad with a composition of textures and flavors…
Baby arugula has a tiny peppery bite, not as sharp as the regular arugula, the juicy tangy taste of the cherry tomatoes when they burst on your tongue and the creamy, buttery, lightly toasted pine-nuts, the salty but crisp pancetta bits, then a bang of summer hits you with the lemon vinaigrette. Place the golden brown slices of goat cheese on top of the baby arugula salad and there is an elegant yet simple meal. Why not grill a nice piece of snapper or salmon and serve along side the salad? Throw in a crusty piece of french bread and a glass of white wine...hmmm, now that’s a good meal!
Photography by Heaven on Hearth
Baby Arugula, Cherry Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad
4-ounce bag of baby arugula
¼ cup (2 ounces) pine nuts, toasted over low heat for about 2 ½ minutes. The heat brings out the buttery, creamy, nutty flavor and smell.
¼ cup breadcrumbs with finely chopped parsley, to give the coating a bit of color and texture.
2 slices (4 ounces), ¼ inch thick each of pancetta, diced, then sautéed until nice and crispy in the frying pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes. No oil is required as the pancetta has enough fat. Once done, place on a paper towel so that the excess oil is absorbed. If pancetta is not available, bacon can do the trick just as well.
16 cherry tomatoes or ¾ cup, halved.

For the vinaigrette
1 garlic clove, finely grated
½ teaspoon of lemon zest
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
a pinch of salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Mix the garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper together first, then add the olive oil until you have an emulsion.
I have to admit, I love my dressing more on the tangy and sour side.

4-ounce roll of chèvre (soft goat cheese) cut in ¾ inch slices
1 egg, slightly beaten
a pinch of salt for the egg
1 cup of bread crumbs, I like a lot to work with, and a handful of parsley, which you need to chop finely or chunky if you wish, that a personal preference
3 tablespoons of olive oil

In a shallow bowl, beat the egg, adding a pinch of salt. In another bowl, pour the breadcrumbs and mix in the parsley. Set the bowls side by side so it’s easier to work with. Dip the pieces of chèvre into the beaten egg, then coat liberally with the breadcrumb mixture. In a heated nonstick skillet, pour the 3 tablespoons of olive oil, fry gently for about 1-½ minutes, about 30 – 40 seconds on each side or until golden brown.

Once done, toss all the salad ingredients together, vinaigrette being the last, then serve on a plate and put 1 to 2 slices of the golden chèvre on top. Voila! How easy was that?

Don’t be afraid of using a variety of leaves and experimenting with anything that’s in your fridge or pantry. Bring a beautiful summer day into your home everyday with an easy salad.

Have fun with your scrumptious salads and remember, always try to make them your own!

Anonymous –   – (February 21, 2011 at 9:48 PM)  


Nick Sutherland –   – (February 22, 2011 at 8:05 AM)  

EXCELLENT stuff Natascha, I'm ready to try out some of the recipes in my kitchen. This a blog destined for greatness in the culinary world.

Natascha Kessler - Heaven on Hearth  – (February 22, 2011 at 8:09 AM)  

Thank you Nick! Hope you have fun with my recipes!

Anonymous –   – (February 22, 2011 at 3:00 PM)  


Fantastic start, I am trying this recipe this weekend.


PS We miss you from the Chaine

Anonymous –   – (February 22, 2011 at 3:12 PM)  

wow congrats!
sharing your passion with the world great

Anonymous –   – (February 22, 2011 at 10:56 PM)  

Congratulations Natascha!You are destined for greatness,love your blog.


Katrine –   – (February 25, 2011 at 7:11 AM)  

Fabulous, Natascha! Congratulations on this posting. Even having just had lunch, you made it sound so tantalizing that I would happily partake were such a salad in front of me!! I look forward to many more!

Anonymous –   – (March 2, 2011 at 11:17 AM)  

Congratulations on starting your blog Natascha, you are someone to watch! I will try both of these recipes soon. Keep 'em coming! Your friend, Jen S :-)

A Bruce –   – (March 16, 2011 at 2:44 PM)  

I have had this before or at least a recipe very similar. One of my favorite salads! Keep doin what you love and I love what you doin. Take care

Anonymous –   – (April 19, 2011 at 7:35 AM)  

omg!!!! absolutely scrumptious!! what a marvelous blend of will create a buzz on my the way the goat cheese is prepared...really impressed...and of course the excellent fotos from bob......cheers...joe

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