Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, recently published her ninth book of fresh, seasonal recipes polished to perfection. Make It Ahead is everything you love about Garten’s produce-friendly, anyone-can-make-it cuisine with prep done beforehand so you can get out of the kitchen and into your salad right on time.
When I’m in Paris, I love to have a big salad with warm goat cheese for lunch. By wrapping the cheese in phyllo dough and baking it, I end up with a delicious package that’s crispy on the outside with creamy goat cheese inside. A cold salad with French string beans is the perfect counterpoint.
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups Bûcheron goat cheese
- 8 (8 1/2x14-inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, defrosted
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- plain dry bread crumbs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 pound French string beans or haricot verts, trimmed
- 1/2 cup good olive oil, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons shallots, minced (2 shallots)
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
- 1 cup mesclun mix or salad greens
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Score the goat cheese rind at 1/2-inch intervals and make 4 slices by pulling dental floss through the log.
- Place the stack of phyllo dough sheets on a cutting board and cover it with a slightly damp towel.
- Place one sheet of phyllo on the board, brush it with butter, and sprinkle it with 3/4 teaspoon of bread crumbs.
- Place a second sheet of phyllo on top, brush it with butter, and sprinkle it with bread crumbs, continuing until you have 4 sheets of phyllo stacked up.
- Cut the phyllo in half crosswise to make two (7 × 8 1/2-inch) rectangles.
- Place a slice of goat cheese in the middle of one stack of phyllo, fold a corner diagonally over the cheese, and pleat the rest of the dough up and around the cheese, enclosing it completely.
- Place the package, folded side up, on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
- Repeat the process, until you have 4 packages filled with goat cheese.
- Brush the packages all over with melted butter, cover and refrigerate until ready to bake.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the string beans.
- Simmer for exactly 3 minutes, until crisp-tender.
- Drain immediately and immerse the beans in ice water to stop the cooking.
- Drain well.
- For the vinaigrette, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, shallots, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- Stir in the dill and set aside.
- Bake the goat cheese packages for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.
- Toss the string beans and mesclun with enough dressing to moisten.
- Divide the salad among 4 lunch plates, top each with a warm goat cheese package and serve immediately.
Make it ahead: Assemble the goat cheese packages, cook the beans, and prepare the salad and vinaigrette; refrigerate separately for up to 2 days. Before serving, bake the cheese packages, combine the salad and vinaigrette, and serve.
Find more green beans on Food Republic: