Goat Cheese with Poached Dried Fruit, Toasted Almonds, and Greens
By Chef Gale Gand and Chef Rick Tramonto

Ingredients

2 cups Water
cups Sugar
1/2 cup Dried Apricots (whole)
cup Thompson Seedless Raisins or Flame Seedless Raisins
cup Dried Cherries or Dried Cranberries cup prunes - whole
Vanilla Beans split lengthwise
1 strip organic lemon - Zest 1inch wide


To Finish

8 ounces Goat Cheese ripened (preferably in a log)
2 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
4 cups Mixed Salad Greens
1/4 cup Almonds (whole) lightly toasted

Directions

Combine the ingredients for the poached fruit in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let cool. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve; bring to room temperature before serving.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a baking dish with aluminum foil.

Cut a 1 1/2 inches thick slice off the goat cheese log. Lay it flat, then cut into quarters to form thick, chunky wedges.

Transfer to the baking dish and repeat with the remaining cheese.

Bake 3-5 minutes, until warmed through and slightly melted.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Add the greens and almonds and toss quickly to coat. Divide among 4 serving plates.

With a spatula, gently place the warm cheese on top of the greens, dividing it among the plates.

With a slotted spoon, place a spoonful of poached fruit next to the greens.

With a spoon, drizzle a little bit of the fruit syrup over each plate.

Serve immediately.