I thought this salad was a gorgeous salad. I think it would look absolutely beautiful as the salad course of a dinner party. But I'm not sure that I thought that the salad was completely successful. I wasn't sure how the components went together. I loved the warm Brie on top of the toasted baguette rounds. But you couldn't eat an entire plate of just Brie and baguette. Plus, it's supposed to be a salad and not just baked Brie. The apple wedges and the mache did a good job of cutting the richeness of the Brie. But I just wasn't sure how the ingredients were supposed to go together. It seemed like a lot of separate components, all of which worked together, but it just never came together into a cohesive salad for me. The salad was fine and I liked it, but I just didn't quite get it. As a side note, the picture above is undressed because I thought that the dressing on the mache just didn't look very pretty so I drizzled it on afterward. A little bit of vanity at work.
Recipe after the jump!
Mache with Warm Brie and Apples
Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients
By Ina Garten
1 French baguette, sliced 1/2-inch thick diagonally
12 oz. good French Brie, cut into 4 wedges
6 tbsp honey
3 tbsp roasted and salted pistachios
4 oz mache
1 tbsp syrupy aged balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp good evoo
1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place sliced bread on a sheet pan and bake for 6-8 minutes, until crisp.
Arrange Brie snugly in one layer in a glass or ceramic baking dish. Drizzle honey over the wedges and then scatter the pistachios over the top. Bake for 3-5 minutes (depending on the ripeness of the Brie) until Brie just begins to ooze but isn't melted. Be careful - it happens fast.
Place the mache in a large bowl and toss it gently with the balsamic vinegar and evoo. Sprinkle with s&p. Divide the salad among 4 large salad plates and place a piece of warm Brie with pistachios in the center of each plate. Place a quarter of the apple slices on each plate fanned out on one side of the Brie. Place 2-3 slices of toasted baguette on the side of the Brie and sprinkle generously with s&p. Drizzle with honey still in the baking dish and serve immediately.