Late summer delight: Oven-grilled goat cheese and nectarines on a green salad with a honey-mustard-lemon dressing
As we are moving closer and closer to fall, the Danish summer is putting up a last struggle, giving us some beautiful days with clear blue skies, fresh air, and lovely sunshine (check out this lovely description of the Danish late summer “sensommer”). But there’s no point in pretending. The humid heat we had (and complained about!) in the height of summer in July is gone, and the cool breezes tell us what we already know: summer is over, autumn is in the air. Before long, we’ll be huddling up with pumpkin soup and hot tea, lighting candles to beat the early fall of darkness. But for now, we’ll enjoy and celebrate this beautiful additional season of late summer, and I have just the recipe for the occasion!
There are two days a week where my boyfriend has football practice and comes home quite late, so those days, I’m by myself for dinner – which means I get to make all those things he doesn’t like, like cheese, salads, and basically anything meatless. This dish was born on one of those nights. And it is wonderful! It is light and filling, sweet and savory, fruity and just plain delicious. Goat cheese is brilliant with fruit, for example, I can’t get enough of goat creme cheese with fig jam, and older goat cheese is absolutely amazing with apricot jam (like the uber-delicious one my mom recently made from fresh apricots from Southern France). Serve with a simple mixed salad and some cherry tomatoes – this salad dressing might be one of my favorite ones, ever!
Oven-grilled goat cheese and nectarines on a green salad with a honey-mustard-lemon dressing
for 2 portions
1 roll (180g) goat cheese
2 nectarines (ripe but firm)
2-3 handfuls of mixed greens
a couple of small cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white balsamico
2 tsp honey
1 tsp mustard
juice from ½ lemon
some dried thyme
bread or crackers as desired
Cut the goat cheese into slices of about 1.5cm (½ inch, roughly as thick as your finger – unless you have super fat fingers). Wash nectarines and cut them into quarters or eighths. Place cheese and nectarines in a baking dish. Use your oven’s grill function and grill them for 8-12 minutes (depending on how strong your grill is), until the top of the cheese slices starts to become golden-brown. In the meantime, stir all the ingredients for the dressing together in a bowl, adding the oil last, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Wash the salad and the cocktail tomatoes, and cut the tomatoes in half. Mix everything together. Put the grilled goat cheese on slices of baguette or small crackers, sprinkle with some dried thyme, and serve alongside the salad topped with the nectarines.
Tipp: If you like it a bit sweeter, drizzle some honey over the goat cheese and nectarines before grilling for a caramelized effect!