Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Warm Goat Cheese Salad

I learned this recipe from my good friend Chris Pfitzer who just finished writing his first cookbook: Delicious: flavorful food for everyone. I list this book in the recommended cookbook section and it is now available for purchase on Lulu. This is a great collection of family recipes, and importantly all the recipes are friendly for diabetics.

This salad is incredibly versatile and can be prepared many different ways, but in my mind it is ALL about the warm, panko-crusted, fried goat cheese. YUM. You can substitute the type of greens, and you can change the dressing, just don't leave out the goat cheese!

I think the sweetness of the dressing is key to balancing the tang of the crispy warm goat cheese. I like to add nuts and fresh fruit to the salad as well. For Christmas I used pears and rosemary-scented pecans. For valentines it was fresh raspberries and toasted almonds. The possibilities are endless.

Warm Goat Cheese Salad
serves 8

2 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp champagne vinegar
1 tsp sweetener (sugar or Splenda)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 egg yolk
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 11 oz. log plain or herbed chevre goat cheese, cut into 8 slices
1 egg white with 1 tsp water
pinch of salt
1 cup panko bread crumbs

3 Tbsp Olive oil
3 Tbsp unsalted butter

fresh fruit (raspberries, pears, strawberries, nectarines, etc)
toasted nuts (pine nuts, toasted walnuts, pecans, pistachios, almonds, etc)

Salad greens for 8 servings (I love Arugula, but any good greens will work; avoid iceberg lettuce)

Combine all dressing ingredients except olive oil in a small food processor or small bowl. process (or whisk) to combine. While processing (or whisking) slowly drizzle olive oil into dressing to make a thick dressing.

In a small bowl combine egg white, water and salt, whisk until foamy. Place panko on a small plate. Using one hand, dip each piece of goat cheese in the egg whites to coat, then roll in panko. Set aside on waxed paper. Repeat with remaining cheese.

In a non-stick skillet heat olive oil over medium high heat and add butter. Allow butter to melt. When butter stops foaming, oil is hot enough for frying. Place panko coated goat cheese in skillet and fry until golden (about 2-3 minutes per side). Drain fried cheese briefly on paper towels.

Place greens in a large bowl and hand-toss with enough dressing to just coat the leaves (do not over-dress). Portion dressed greens among 8 salad plates and top with hot goat cheese. Garnish with fruit and nuts and serve immediately.

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