Goat Cheese is awesome just on it’s own.  Imagine how great it is breaded and fried?  That’s exactly what I’ll show you how to do in this recipe for a Warm Goat Cheese salad.  The goat cheese is definitely the star of this salad, and brings enough body to the dish to make it a pretty substantial lunch, or starter course.  I serve it on a bed of tender, fresh, butter lettuce, tossed with a simple vinaigrette.   It’s really easy to add a few other ingredients, nuts or other veggies, to make the salad match with the seasons or with your own tastes.  Give it a try and let me know how you like it.

Recipe Overview and Keys to Success

For the best Warm Goat Cheese Salad, just make sure you do the following:

  1. Compared to the greens, the cheese is obviously very heavy and very rich.  It’s easy to use too much.  As you’ll see in the video, I use the single portion I bought, for two salads, by cutting it in half, and even that was a generous portion.
  2. Use a good quality goat cheese, and greens.  For simple dishes like this, good, quality ingredients are so important
  3. Get everything ready before you start frying the goat cheese, as you want to move it right from the pan to the salad…instead of having it sit around and cool, while you assemble the greens
  4. Like all salads, don’t over dress it.  The greens just need a light coating with the vinaigrette, they shouldn’t be swimming in it

Warm Goat Cheese Salad

Ingredients

  • Goat cheese – I like buy a version shaped like a hockey puck
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Flour for coating
  • 1 egg
  • 1 head butter lettuce
  • 2 tablespoons Raspberry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon honey
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts

Warm Goat Cheese Salad

  • Wash, dry and portion the butter lettuce on two plates
  • Make the vinaigrette by adding the honey, mustard, & vinegar to a small mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper, and mix together
  • Start to whisk, and slowly drizzle in the olive oil – about 3 tablespoons, until an emulsion forms – taste, re-season and your dressing is done, set aside
  • Cut the disk of goat cheese in half, so you have two portions, each about ½ inch thick
  • Set up three bowls, one with flour, one with the egg (thoroughly beaten), and one with the panko bread crumbs
  • Put the first disk of cheese into the flour and coat on all sides
  • Move it to the egg wash, again coating on all sides
  • Move it to the panko bread crumbs, once more coating on all sides, and then set on a plate
  • Repeat with the second disk of goat cheese
  • Heat a non-stick pan over medium high heat for 3 – 4 minutes, then add about ¼ inch of olive oil
  • Carefully lay the coated goat cheese into the hot oil – if it’s not immediately sizzling, remove and allow to oil to get hotter
  • Cook for 2 – 3 minutes on the first side, or until the bread crumbs are golden brown
  • Use a spatula, and your free hand to gently turn over the goat cheese and fry on the second side until nicely browned
  • When brown, remove to a paper towel for 15 – 30 seconds to allow it to drain, then plate in the middle of the butter lettuce arranged on the plate
  • Drizzle with the raspberry vinaigrette and garnish with the walnuts (for some color, add a few fresh raspberries)
  • Enjoy!

Wine Recommendation

Salads can be tricky wine parings, as the tanginess of vinaigrette can clash with many wines.  Add the rich, creamy goat cheese, and this one is even harder.  I think the best bet out there is a glass of Champaign.  The bubbles will help cut the richness of the cheese without overpowering the flavors of the greens and vinaigrette.