Grilled Apricot and Goat Cheese Salad

The combination of sweet grilled apricots with tangy goat cheese, crisp lettuce, and the delicate flavor and crunch of the nuts is simply delightful.

Makes 4 servings

Apricot Vinaigrette:
1 small red onion
1 medium garlic clove
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped chives
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 apricots

4 tablespoons goat cheese
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
½ teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
4 apricots, halved and pitted
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 small heads Bibb lettuce

Prepare the grill.

For the vinaigrette: Finely chop the red onion (about ¼ cup) and add the garlic clove (about 1 teaspoon. Using all the lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, whisk together all of the ingredients except the apricots. Cut the apricots into ¼-inch pieces (about 1 cup) and gently stir them in. Add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Let the dressing sit for at least 30 minutes before serving.

For the salad: In a small bowl, mix together the goat cheese, mascarpone cheese, vinegar, lemon juice, and salt until well-combined. Place 2 tablespoon of the cheese mixture on the cut side of the apricots and lay them cheese-side-up on a plate; sprinkle with the pepper and drizzle with the olive oil.

Place apricots cheese-side-up on the grill and cook until slightly tender and the cheese begins to melt, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the grill; set aside.

Place the leaves from one head of lettuce on a salad plate in a blooming flower formation; drizzle with ¼ cup of the dressing; top with 2 apricot halves. Repeat with the remaining heads of lettuce. Serve.