3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
4 rounds fresh goat cheese (each about 4 ounces and 1/2-inch thick)
4 slices (1/4-inch thick) from a day-old baguette
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
3/4 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 to 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 to 6 cups fresh mixed salad greens
Mix the fresh thyme and half of the olive oil in a deep dish just large enough to hold the goat cheese rounds in one layer. Lay the goat cheese rounds in the marinade; cover and refrigerate for 12 hours. Turn the cheese over and marinate another 12 hours. Bring to room temperature before baking.
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Spread the baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush with the melted butter. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or un til light brown. While the bread is still warm, rub each piece with a cut clove of garlic.
Mix together the breadcrumbs and dried thyme. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegar, the remaining 6 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
Increase oven temperature to 400° F.
Dip the cheese rounds in the breadcrumb mix, then place on a baking dish or sheet pan lightly brushed with olive oil. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly bubbling and golden brown.
Toss the greens with enough vinaigrette to lightly coat. Evenly divide them among 4 dinner plates. Make a space in the middle of the greens, and with the more-browned side up, place the cheese over this opening, partially covering the greens. Arrange the croutons around the cheese. Serves 4.se Baked Goat Cheese With Garden Salad