Crusted Goat Cheese Salad
This simple goat cheese salad stars a round of goat cheese, breaded and fried to a golden brown, then nested on some dressed greens. Pretty, creamy, tangy and crunchy.
The goat cheese salad takes less than 30 minutes including 15 minutes of refrigeration time (which I usually skip). It makes a great first course or brunch addition. And, it always gets rave reviews from goat cheese lovers.
Goat cheese has a distinctive flavor – tangy, earthy and salty. The goat cheese in this salad is slightly warmed and softened with a bit of crunch on the exterior. It sits on a simple salad of mixed red and green lettuce, garnished with garnish of your choice I like to use a simple vinaigrette dressing, but if you have a similar favorite, go ahead and use that.
Some people are put off by the taste of goat cheese. Food & Wine talks about some mistakes to avoid when purchasing it for the best and freshest flavor and texture.
Tailor To Your Taste
- Use any kind of goat cheese – plain, herb, honey.
- If you don’t like goat cheese, you can substitute feta, a fairly strong cheese, or the much milder ricotta cheese.
- Garnish the salad with whatever you like such as julienne beets or carrots, dried fruit, chopped toasted nuts or sun-dried tomato slivers.
- Try other dressings for the salad including your favorite store bought dressing. I don’t suggest a creamy dressing, though, as it might prevent the beautiful colors from shining through.
Make Ahead Goat Cheese Salad
- The goat cheese can be breaded, fried and set aside a few hours ahead. It will be fine at room temperature. If you prefer it warm, reheat it in a medium pan for a few minutes or in the microwave for 8 seconds. The dressing can also be made ahead, but toss it with the greens just before serving so they don’t get soggy.
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Crusted Goat Cheese Salad
- 4 slices of goat cheese (1/2-3/4 inches each) total 200-250g
- 2 tablespoon flour
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp milk
- 1/4 cup panko or regular bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cup spring or mesclun salad mix
- Garnish options: thinly sliced sun dried tomatoes, toasted chopped nuts, dried cranberries, julienne beets or carrots
- 1 shallot, minced (optional)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- BREAD THE GOAT CHEESE: Dredge the goat cheese slices in flour, dip in egg mixture then in crumbs. Refrigerate for 15 minutes (or up to 4 hours). This helps the bread crumbs adhere.
- MAKE THE VINAIGRETTE: Mix the first 5 vinaigrette dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk in olive oil. Set aside.
- FRY THE GOAT CHEESE: Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Fry the goat cheese slices about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove from pan and place on paper towel to drain. Set aside.
- ASSEMBLE THE SALAD: In a large bowl, toss the salad with 3-4 tablespoons of the vinaigrette dressing. Divide among 4 plates. Place a crusted goat cheese slice on top of each salad. Sprinkle on garnishes of your choice and serve.
Adapted from a recipe by Chef Leanne Rabinowitz at Maplehern Cooking School in Toronto.
Here are a few other recipes with goat cheese you might enjoy: