I love salads! I know you may think it strange to have such a declaration for a bowl of vegetables – even my husband looks at me like I’m a bit crazy when I order one at a restaurant. Despite my salad shaming I order it anyway, especially if I see a Warm Goat Cheese Salad on the menu. Soft and creamy cheese with a mild flavor and lightly fried…what’s not to love?!
A Warm Goat Cheese Salad comes in a variety of manners, and since it’s officially fall, I decided to make this using some of the seasons bounty. The warm and crispy goat cheese rounds sit on a bed a peppery arugula, juicy pears, candied pecans, bitter/sweet pomegranates, and dressed with a tangy white balsamic vinaigrette. This my friends, is not merely just a salad… this dish has dimension! It hits all of your flavor profiles, giving you a more satisfied flavor experience… and it’s a salad! So pull up a chair, pour yourself a nice glass of white wine, and enjoy!
- 8 ounces fresh goat cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- ¾ cup panko
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pomegranate
- 1 cup whole pecans
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6 ounces arugula
- 1 bartlett pear, thinly sliced
- Slice the goat cheese into ½ inch rounds. Set up two dishes, one containing the beaten egg, the other holding the panko seasoned with a pinch of salt and a few cracks of black pepper. Working one at a time, dip the goat cheese rounds into the egg, letting the excess egg drip back into the bowl. Then dip in the panko, patting the crumbs gently into the cheese. Place the rounds onto a plate and refrigerate.
- In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the pecans. Once they take on a nutty smell (about 2 minutes) add the butter. Toss the pecans as the butter melts, then add the brown sugar. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Spread the nuts out onto a large plate and allow to cool.
- To remove the pomegranate seeds, slice the pomegranate in half. Gently pull the sides out to loosen the seeds. Over a bowl, hold one half in your hand, cut side down, and smack the top with a wooden spoon. The seeds should just fall out into your hand.
- To make the vinaigrette, combine the olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, honey, and lemon in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Prepare the salad by dividing the arugula, sliced pears, candied pecans, and pomegranates equally among 4 plates.
- In a saute pan over medium-high heat, warm the vegetable oil until it shimmers. Working in batches if needed, carefully add the goat cheese rounds and cook until lightly browned but not melting, about 45 seconds. Gently turn the rounds and cook for 30 seconds longer. Divide the goat cheese rounds equally among the salad plates.
- Serve and Enjoy!
The White Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe was adapted from about.com
Dip the Goat Cheese Rounds in Egg and Panko:
Make the Candied Pecans:
To Remove the Pomegranate Seeds, Gently Pull the Sides Out:
Hold Half of the Pomegranate in Your Hand, Cut Side Down. Smack the Top with a Wooden Spoon:
All of the Seeds Should Easily Come Out:
Make the White Balsamic Vinaigrette:
Lightly Fry the Goat Cheese Rounds:
Dress with the Vinaigrette and Enjoy!