Goat Cheese Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Courtesy of Rum Point Restaurant

Serves 4

  • 8 ounces blood orange juice (freshly squeezed is best, but processed will do)
  • 2 ounces Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 pods star anise
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 bulb fennel, finely sliced
  • 1 small white onion, finely sliced
  • 1 packet good quality soft goat cheese

Place the blood orange juice in a saucepan and reduce on low heat by half, creating about 4 ounces of dense blood orange sauce. Combine with the olive oil and Dijon mustard and whisk until creamy and smooth, adding salt and pepper to taste. Add a dash of red wine vinegar if the overall taste is too sweet.

To make the pickling liquid, in a saucepan combine the water, star anise pods, red wine vinegar, sugar, garlic, fresh thyme, whole black peppercorns and 2 tablespoons of salt. Bring to a rapid boil.

Add the finely sliced fennel, apple and onion. Allow to boil for about 5-7 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave for about 45 minutes, which will soften the vegetables and infuse the pickling flavors.

Remove the vegetables from the pickling liquid and place in an ice bath to preserve the crisp-tender texture.

When ready to serve, place your desired selection of salad greens in a mixing bowl and toss with the blood orange vinaigrette. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Spread the mixed greens on the salad plate and over this lay a portion of the pickled vegetables and apple slices.

Ensuring the goat cheese is very cold (this will make it easier to cut), slice a ΒΌ inch-thick medallion per portion and place on top of the salad. If you have a blow torch, you can lightly char the center of the goat cheese to bring an additional level of flavor and color contrast.

“We complete ours by garnishing with thinly sliced roasted red bell peppers and a drizzle of pomegranate reduction.”