Monday, May 2, 2011

Mache with Warm Brie and Apples

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.

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