Don’t let the length of the recipe fool you, this a very easy …and deliciously worth your effort, especially when fresh spring salad greens are popping up in the markets.
5 TABLEspoons fresh thyme leaves
Finely chop thyme, rosemary and parsley and place in shallow bowl.
Heat a small frying pan over medium-high heat, add hazelnuts and turn off heat. While the pan is still hot, gently roll the hazelnuts around the pan to lightly toast. Allow to cool and then finely chop. Add chopped hazelnuts to chopped herbs and stir to combine.
Divide goat cheese log into disks (for a 4 ounce log, divide into 8 disks -- unflavored dental floss works wonders for this task!).
Press each disk in herb-hazelnut mixture to coat, covering both sides and edges. Place herbed goat cheese rounds on a plate and place in refrigerator for 10 minutes. (these can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated until ready to use -- up to 24 hours )
To make Pinot-Balsamic drizzle, place the Pinot Noir wine and Balsamic vinegar in a small sauce pan and heat to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half. Immediately remove from the heat in order not to over reduce the liquid.
Place greens in a salad bowl, drizzle with the olive oil, add salt and pepper and toss. Evenly divide greens among serving plates (approximately 1 1/2 cups per serving).
Spray a small, nonstick frying pan with non-stick cooking spray. Over medium-high heat add the chilled goat cheese rounds and cook for approximately 2 minutes on each side until light brown and the cheese begins to soften.
Place two goat cheese rounds on top of baby greens. Drizzle with the Pinot-Balsamic reduction. Add additional grey salt and freshly ground pepper if desired, and serve with toasted baguette rounds.