Bitter Green Salad with Roasted Wisconsin "Bread Cheese"
By Chef Kristine Subido
6 thin slices Udi’s fruit and nut baguette, drizzled with olive oil and salt
2 cups dried black mission figs, quartered
3 cups red wine
1 ounce (about 2 tablespoons) shallots, chopped
1/4 cup fig vin cotto vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 cup canola-olive blend oil
12 ounces Wisconsin Bread Cheese or other Wisconsin Juustoleipa Cheese
2 ripe Anjou pears, seeded and julienne
8 ounces baby arugula or mixed salad greens
Preheat oven to 325°F. Make the fruit and nut toast croutons by slicing the fruit and nut bread; drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake until toasted, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
Combine the black mission figs and red wine in a small sauce pot and simmer until the figs are soft, about 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and reserve the figs in the wine. Chill.
Combine the shallots and vinegar in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Season to taste.
Preheat oven or broiler to 375°F. Cut the bread cheese in 3 equal pieces. Place the cheese on a cookie sheet and bake until soft; about 5 minutes. If using a microwave, cook for 30 seconds until soft.
Drain the figs, reserving the wine. Combine the pears, figs and arugula. Toss with dressing; season to taste. Divide among six salad plates. Place crouton on each salad. Top each with 1/2 slice of the warm cheese. Season with pepper and drizzle some reserved red wine over salad. Serve immediately!