Gay Koenemann of Bonn, Germany, had dinner at 300 East Boulevard on a recent trip to Charlotte, North Carolina. There he was treated to the most exquisite salad he'd ever had. Although the restaurant calls it Fall Salad on the menu, it's enjoyable year-round.
Dried cranberries would make a good alternative to the dried cherries.
Servings: Makes 4 Servings.
PreparationCombine cherries and Port in heavy small saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat; let stand until cherries swell, about 15 minutes. Sauté pancetta in heavy large skillet over medium-low heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Add shallots and garlic; cook 2 minutes. Add oil, then vinegar and sugar; stir until sugar dissolves. Stir in cherry mixture. Season with salt and pepper. (Dressing can be made 2 hours ahead. Set aside in skillet at room temperature.)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place goat cheese slices on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until warm, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine salad greens and pine nuts in bowl. Rewarm dressing and pour over salad; toss to blend. Top with warm goat cheese and serve.