I have fond memories of this unusual salad of creamy goat cheese encrusted with hazelnuts and served with sweet cantaloupe. This is a nice departure from the more predictable salads where goat cheese is strewn on top of lettuce. Be sure to use a young, creamy goat cheese.
8 ounces good-quality goat cheese
3 tablespoons finely chopped hazelnuts
1 1/2 cups cantaloupe, diced
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon finely minced mint
2/3 cup shredded radicchio
Cut the cheese into eight equal pieces and roll each piece in the hazelnuts to completely coat it. Place the pieces on a dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.
In a small bowl combine the cantaloupe, sugar, lemon zest, and mint. Cover and macerate at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving.
Bring cheese to room temperature at least 1 hour before serving. (It is always best to serve cheese at room temperature for maximum flavor.) Sprinkle some of the radicchio, and then add 1 piece of cheese, to each of 8 plates. Spoon some of the cantaloupe and mint onto each and serve.
This recipe is from CIAO ITALIA - BRINGING ITALY HOME by Mary Ann Esposito, published by St. Martin's Press in 2001.
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