Strawberry Salad with Montrachet “Truffles”

strawberry salas

Here’s a beautiful and delicious salad recipe using fresh strawberries. I love montrachet cheese as an accompaniment with strawberries.

With this recipe, I have used the montrachet in a “truffle” by softening the montrachet cheese, adding a little mascarpone cheese (for moisture) and adding fresh basil. I then form the cheese into “truffles” and roll them in chopped pecans. Make them ahead then bring them out to stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes so they are a bit soft when your guests devour them!


Ingredients

Strawberry  vinaigrette

  • 1 pint of fresh strawberries, cleaned, hulled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
  • a pinch of salt and white pepper
  • approximately 1 1/2 cups of canola oil

Montrachet “Truffles”

  • one 10 ounce log of montrachet (goat cheese) at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted pecans coarsely chopped
  • fresh spring greens
  • 1 cup alfalfa sprouts (optional)
  • 24 strawberries, fanned out

This recipe makes about 2 cups of vinaigrette dressing. You can cut the recipe in half, or keep the remaining dressing for future use. Store unused dressing in the refrigerator and bring out to room temperature for 10 minutes before using.


Instructions

To make the dressing

Place the strawberries, honey, salt and pepper and raspberry vinegar in the bowl of a food processor.

adding oil to vinaigrettePulse to combine. With the processor running, slowly add approximately 1 cup of the canola oil. Test the dressing. It should be rather thick. If the dressing seems too tart, add a bit more canola oil. (You may also want to add a bit more honey depending on the ripeness of your strawberries)

Store in a container and refrigerate until ready to use. Bring to room temperature prior to serving (about 20 minutes)

To make the Montrachet Truffles

Place montrachet cheese and mascarpone cheese in a bowl. Both should be at room temperature.  basil leaf choppedChop the fresh basil into a “chiffinode.” To do this,
place the basil leaves one on top of each other.   Then fold the leaves in half. Fold in half again.   Take a chef knife and carefully slice the leaves to you are left with thin strands.

Add the strands of basil into the bowl of cheese. Mix to combine.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  goat cheese truffleUsing a teaspoon, make 8 “dollops” of the cheese mixture, placing them on the parchment lined baking sheet.

Refrigerate the cheese on the sheet pan for approximately 1/2 hour.

While the cheese is getting firm, place the toasted chopped pecans in a bowl.

Remove the sheet pan of cheese dollops from the refrigerator.  Using your hands, roll each dollop into a ball.

Now place each “truffle” into the pecan mixture and roll until completely coated. Place back on the parchment lined baking sheet. Complete all 8 truffles then refrigerate them until ready to use.

Remove from the refrigerator about 1/2 hour prior to serving so they get closer to room temperature.forming truffles

Slice the remaining 24 strawberries into “fans.”

Do this by carefully making 4 or 5 slices on a slight diagonal on each berry, without cutting through to the top. Press gently on the berry to “fan” the berry out.

Again, you can store these fanned berries on a parchment or paper towel lined pan and refrigerate for a few hours until ready to use.

Place the mixed greens in a large bowl and toss with just enough of the dressing to coat the greens.

Divide the greens among 8 salad plates.

Place a small mostrawberry saladfanning strawberriesund of alfalfa sprouts in the center of the greens. This will help secure your “truffle” from rolling.

Place a room temperature truffle in the middle of the salad plate. Place 3 of the fanned strawberries on each salad plate. If desired, drizzle with a little more strawberry vinaigrette dressing.

 

 

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