Radish and Goat Cheese Napoleon Recipe
This radish and goat cheese napoleon recipe was inspired by an elegant beet appetizer I had several years ago at Spago, Wolfgang Puck's restaurant. Colorful layers of sliced, pickled Cherry Belle radishes, candied walnuts, goat cheese spread and rounds of whole grain noor thin bread give the dish its visual appeal. The pungency from the radishes offsets the velvety smoothness from the goat cheese. Sprinkled with candied walnuts, arugula and a few sprouted radish shoots as garnish, a larger portion of this light salad could be served as a one-dish meal. I finished the salad with a flavor-matching vinaigrette, a scrumptious sesame and candied walnut salad dressing.
The bread used in this dish is a new product from my friends over at California Lavash. It’s made with whole grains and is studded with black and white sesame seeds. It’s a great choice if you want to make a healthy dish, but I obviously didn’t do that today! I’ll be posting a couple more recipes using the bread later this week, and if you’d like to try them out, you can enter this week’s giveaway. Good luck!
Yields: 4 servings1 (2-ounce) package sprouted radish shoots, snipped
1 lemon, zested and freshly squeezed
1 dozen radishes
12 ounces goat cheese
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
¼ teaspoon liquid lecithin
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
4 sheets noor thin bread
2 cups arugula, tightly packed
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons walnut oil
¼ cup walnuts
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons agave nectar (or any other sweetener)
1 teaspoon tahini
1 sprig French tarragon, finely chopped
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pink, green and black pepper, freshly cracked
Prepping the radishes: Using a mandoline or a sharp chef’s knife, thinly slice the radishes. Drizzle with half the lemon juice and 1 teaspoon agave nectar. Toss well and set aside.
For the candied walnuts:
In a hot pan, dry-roast the walnuts. Add 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Toss until well coated. Once the nuts are candied, sprinkle a pinch of salt and the sesame seeds. Transfer to a baking pan lined with a silicone mat. Let set, then coarsely chop.
For the thickening agent: In a small bowl, combine the xanthan gum, liquid lecithin and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Stir well.
For the goat cheese spread:
Using a whisk, whip the goat cheese to soften it. Add ¼ cup cream, the tarragon and lemon zest. Beat until the texture is smooth. Add the thickening agent and whisk until creamy. Sweeten with 1 teaspoon agave nectar and season with salt and pepper.
Whip the remaining heavy cream (at low speed) for 2-3 minutes until creamy and smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Gently fold the whipped cream into the goat cheese mixture in stages. Make sure the consistency is uniform. Set aside.
For the walnut vinaigrette: In a mortar and pestle, grind 1 tablespoon candied walnuts into a thick paste. Add tahini, 1 tablespoon agave nectar, the rest of the lemon juice, walnut oil and the remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Pat dry the radish slices with paper towels.
Using a metal circle cutter, create 12 bread rounds. Lightly toast the bread.
Place the circle cutter on an individual serving plate, stack 1 bread round, fan thin slices of radish and spoon (or pipe) the goat cheese spread. Garnish with more radish and close with another piece of bread. Gently remove the circle cutter and repeat until 3 bread rounds are used.
Garnish with the sprouted radish shoots. Serve with a mount of arugula on the side. Sprinkle with the reserved candied chopped walnuts and drizzle with the vinaigrette.
Serve immediately at room temperature.
Xanthan gum is a fine powder used as a binder and emulsifier. I use it for consistency of the goat cheese layer and as an egg white substitute. You can find it online or in any specialty food store such as Whole Foods.August 27, 2012.