Field Greens with Spiced Pecans, Goat Cheese, and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Field-Greens-Spiced-Pecans-Goat-Cheese-Balsamic-Vinaigrette-5A few things today.

One – sorry for being a little off the radar recently. My excuse? Laziness and a busted computer. But…just because I haven’t been posting, doesn’t mean I haven’t been cooking.

Two – Emily from A Gilt Nutmeg chose a great recipe for this week’s Project Pastry Queen. Don’t let the length of this recipe stop you from making this. It just looks like a lot. I actually told Andy that if I had to pick one salad dressing for the rest of my life, this would be it. The whole meal took about 25 min to make and I was also cooking other items at the same time.

Three – Back to the busted computer. I’m going to post a few recipes without pictures. You see, I shoot in RAW which means the files are huge. My computer has crashed a few times and opening just one file takes a few minutes. Then, trying to save them in a format I can use on the web…another five min. This doesn’t include the time it takes to do any editing. I don’t have the patience. Once the computer is functioning again, I’ll repost them with some pics.



Spiced Pecans
1 ½ C pecan halves
3 T unsalted butter\
tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp salt

Balsamic Vinaigrette
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 T honey
½ C balsamic vinegar
¼ C red wine vinegar
1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp salt
½ C – 2 ¼ C extra-virgin olive oil (I used 1 C)

1 (6 oz) goat cheese round, at room temperature (I used a 4 oz log)
3 C assorted baby greens
1 small bunch arugula
1 pint cherry tomatoes


Spiced Pecans:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Place the pecans in a medium bowl.
  3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the cumin, cayenne, and salt.
  4. Pour the butter mixture over the pecans and toss to coat well.
  5. Spread the spiced pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast for 7-9 min, until golden brown and aromatic. Set aside to cool at least 15 min.

Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  1. Blend the garlic, mustard, honey, both vinegars, lemon juice, and salt about 15-20 seconds in a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade.
  2. Pour ½ C olive oil through the feed tube in a slow stream and blend until the mixture emulsifies. Add additional olive oil as desired (I used 1 C.).


  1. Cut the goat cheese rounds into quarters and gently form each into a disk.
  2. Coarsely grind ½ C of the spiced pecan halves in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pour the ground pecans into a medium bowl. Roll the goat cheese rounds in the ground pecans to cover completely.
  3. Just before serving, toss the baby greens, arugula, the remaining 1 C of spiced pecans, and balsamic vinaigrette to taste in a large salad bowl.
  4. Serve on individual plates. Top each salad with some of the cherry tomatoes and a disk of pecan-coated goat cheese.


4 servings

The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather