Simple Salad

Without exotic ingredients, salads usually don't make much of an impression. The goat cheese brûlée salad at Farrago World Cuisine (318 Gray, 713-523-6404) may not be fancy, but it still manages to stand out. Red and yellow beefsteak tomatoes add color to baby field greens tossed with toasted pecan pieces and roasted garlic, and it's all topped with a vibrant citrus vinaigrette. What makes the salad extra-special are its two slices of pure white goat cheese, which have been dipped in a spice mixture and seared in a dry pan until both sides have turned almost black, imparting a barely burned taste.