Craving: Portabello, Bacon, and Goat Cheese Frisée Salad

My cravings aren’t specific. Most of the time, planning dinner, I sense the type of dish I want–spicy, woodsy, basic bland, sweet, pungent, delicate—and I’ll go from there. I’ll often yearn for general flavors, the ol’ sweet tooth actin’ up, but I hardly ever crave a certain food.

And then there’s goat cheese. I’ll be minding my own business and all of a sudden I can’t control my thoughts, my drool, my urges—I need goat cheese. This is a stange thing for me since I’ve never been a believer in the cheese cravings that so many women claim to have, always assuming they were just making excuses to stuff themselves. And while I love all kinds of cheese, and eat it daily, I’ve never had cravings for a type. Now, in the middle of the day or night, I’m thinking goat cheese. Just the fleeting mention of those two words—goat, cheese—puts a giddy smile on my face, one of those eyes rolling in the back of your head, mouth open, exhaling deeply giddy smiles.

Perusing the cookbooks at Barnes and Noble the other day, I knew that a recipe containing goat cheese, mushrooms, and bacon would have to be on my dinner table that night. No way around it. This recipe, adapted from my memory of it in Alfred Portale Simple Pleasures, is a frisée salad with aged goat cheese. The frisee, which is more bitter and sharp than mixed greens or Romaine lettuce, allows for pungent goat cheese instead of the standard Parmesan topping. The mushrooms also stand up nicely against the cheese—a woodsy counterpart. And bacon, well, bacon tastes good in anything.

I recommend using a good red wine vinegar for this. I used O Olive Oil brand’s Zinfandel Vinegar. I’ve heard so much about this brand of oil and vinegar, and it seems that all the hype is justified. The vinegar was delicious by itself and would be perfect of simple salads of a little oil and vinegar.

I’m entering this recipe into Leftover Queen’s Royal Foodie Joust. The event looks like tons of fun, and we all get to talk about it on the website’s forum, so I couldn’t resist. You can check out the details here.

Portabello, Bacon, and Goat Cheese Frisée Salad

adapted from Alfred Portale Simple Pleasures

Place mushrooms on a baking sheet and sprinkle with thyme, salt, and pepper. Place in the oven at 350º until browned and tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the bacon slowly over med-low heat until crisp and fragile-crumbly (which is my preference, but by all means cook the bacon however you please). Transfer bacon to a plate and discard all but 1 Tbsp of the bacon fat. In a small bowl, whisk together the bacon fat, olive oil, vinegar, shallots, mustard and a pinch of thyme, salt, and pepper. Taste and vary the dressings ingredients to your liking (add more vinegar a little at a time if you think the dressing is to oily). Remove mushrooms when done and in a small bowl combine mushrooms with 2 Tbsp of the dressing. Let sit as you prepare the salad bowl with frisée lettuce, bacon, and dressing. Mix in mushrooms and grated cheese. Top with extra cheese if you like. Enjoy!

  • 5 portabello mushroom caps, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp dried or fresh thyme
  • 6 slices smoked bacon, cut into 1-to-2 inch pieces
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp chopped shallots
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 6 cups frisée lettuce
  • 4-to-6 oz grated aged goat cheese, I recommend this one
  • Salt, Pepper
  • 10 thoughts on “Craving: Portabello, Bacon, and Goat Cheese Frisée Salad”

    1. once again – great food
      what a combo
      bacon… goat cheese…
      and then well, just about anything else will do
      but your salad sounds perfecto

      you foodie you

    2. oh no…. talk about craving for goats cheese…. i managed to successfully steal myself from buying some, and then i come home and read this… 😦

    3. Ooh- that looks really good! I’ve been on a salad kick lately, so I will definately have to try this one out!

      What kind of camera and lighting do you use? I really like how your photographs turn out- such fabulous dimension!

    4. Claudia- You are too good to me! Thanks!

      Peabody- Haha, I was thinking about the amount of bacon I eat per week last night, and, oh man, it’s not good…. or actually, it IS good!

      Jim- Does ANYTHING count without bacon??

      Maninas- Sorry! But I’m not big on willpower—go out and get some cheese!!

      Ley- I have a canon powershot SE I3, nothing fancy at all, and the lighting I use i just the lamps around my apartment, though I want to make a lightbox at some point. I do, however, use photoshop on all my photos, usually brightening them up a little to take away from the fact that most of the photos are done at night with unnatural light. Thanks for the compliment!!

    5. thats a gr8 mix of salad leaves too. Here in Africa- Ghana u get only 2 kinds of lettuce …and that too the boring kinds. Your salad looks very refreshing and has not got me wanting some goats cheese 😛

    6. thanks for stopping by my page clumsy – I linked to you from the foodie blogroll over the weekend and enjoyed reading some of your archives.

      and I need to do what you do with your pics – run them at least through picasa to make them a little brighter and to bring out the colors. it’s hard for me to get the pictures I want.

      salad looks good – I’m having something similar for lunch today – yum!

    7. Oh my gosh! 🙂 This looks fantabulous. What a great, quick, easy, delicious looking meal. I’m so busy, it’s so hard to find good meals sometimes. Lately, I’ve been having to hit up the freezer aisle instead of my fridge. The new Bertolli Mediterranean Style frozen dinners have become my staple. They’re really good, and backed by Rocco DiSpirito from The Restaurant tv show, who I’m a huge fan of, especially after Top Chef. He’s got some great videos online that you guys should check out: Let me know what you think of the videos, and if any of you are a big fan of Bertolli’s frozen dinners. I know they’re good, ’cause I work with them. I’ll let you know how the salad works out tonight! Thanks again, great post.

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