Spring greens

  (Mel Melcon, Los Angeles Times)

 

Spring herb salad with warm blue cheese

Total time: About 30 minutes

Servings: 4

Note: Use Fourme d'Ambert, Bleu d'Auvergne or another creamy but firm blue cheese. Good choices for greens with a bite: baby oak leaf, baby romaine, baby arugula, watercress leaves.

4 ounces blue cheese

1/4 cup flour

1 egg, well beaten

1/2 cup panko or other dry bread crumbs

3 cups mixed spring lettuces with bite

1/2 cup coarsely chopped chives

1/2 cup coarsely chopped mint leaves

1/4 cup coarsely chopped dill fronds

1/4 cup coarsely chopped tarragon leaves or chervil leaves

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon peppery olive oil

Pinch coarse sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil

1. Place the cheese in the freezer for 5 minutes. Cut it into thick slices. Dredge in the flour, then in the beaten egg and finally in the panko crumbs, pressing to coat well on all sides. Set aside on a plate (in the refrigerator if doing ahead).

2. Combine the greens and herbs in a large bowl and toss well until completely mixed. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set both bowls aside.

3. Heat the butter and oil in small skillet over medium-high heat until sizzling. Carefully add the cheese slices and cook quickly until lightly browned on each side but not starting to ooze, about 1 minute.

4. As the cheese heats, toss the salad with the dressing to coat and divide among 4 plates. Top each with hot cheese and serve at once.

Each serving: 271 calories; 10 grams protein; 14 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 19 grams fat; 9 grams saturated fat; 82 mg. cholesterol; 476 mg. sodium.