Monday, August 11, 2014

Cherry and Herbed Cheese Salad with Chocolate Balsamic Vinaigrette

This is a salad that I came up with after having made a wonderful herbed cheese spread, thinking this would be great in a salad.  I scooped out small balls and rolled them in chopped walnuts then paired them with dark cherries and dressed it with a chocolate balsamic vinaigrette.  I used leaf lettuce and spinach in this dish but you can use what ever combination you like.  This salad will certainly impress guests and you can prepare the components ahead of time, then arrange on plates and drizzle the vinaigrette over the top. 


Makes enough cheese balls for 4 salads

For the cheese Balls...

3 ounces brie cheese
3 ounces cream cheese, full fat
3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1 tablespoon brandy
1 cup finely chopped walnuts, in a bowl

For the vinaigrette...

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
black pepper to taste

1 cup pitted cherries cut in half
salad greens 

To make the cheese balls, combine the brie, cream cheese and grated cheddar cheese in a medium sized bowl.  With a fork, cream together the cheeses and mix until creamy and well combined.  Add the herbs and brandy, mix until incorporated.  Scrape the cheese into a small bowl and wrap with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to  days.

For the dressing, combine in a small bowl the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Whisk well to combine.  Set aside.

 To assemble the cheese balls, simply scoop out a rounded tablespoon of mixture and roll into a ball.  Roll in chopped walnuts, covering each ball well with nuts.

To assemble the salad, arrange salad greens and cherries on 4 salad plates.  Drizzle vinaigrette over greens, then place 3 cheese balls decoratively on top of each salad.  Enjoy!

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