I adore having a list of default dinners (aka easy entrees) but I am also a sucker for easy, impressive salads. The reason this one appears on my weekly and weekend table is not just because it tastes good. I love this salad because: you can make the goat cheese rounds and dressings ahead of time. Sometimes I make a plate of the breaded goat cheese (hey: did you just read ‘bearded goat cheese’!? that would be hilariously ironic!), then for a week I saute just 1-2 of them for my midday salads. I love more: it makes guests oooh and ahhhh.
I recently served it to family friends, including a 14 year old boy who exclaimed: “this is the best salad I have ever tasted.” And I am thinking those might not be the easiest taste buds to impress! Incidentally, I have been making this salad for years—it came from Ina Garten’s files.
Because of the simple flavor profile, this is a great starter for complex, flavorful meals. (Or my parade of weekday, midday lunches). The goat cheese—all crusty and warm and sweet against a vinaigrette dressing—makes for a satisfying match.
Sizzling Goat Cheese Salad
8-11 oz log of goat cheese
coarse bread crumbs (optional: Italian seasoning)
2 T cider vinegar
2 T champagne vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil
KS&CP (kosher salt & coarse pepper)
mixed baby greens
olive oil & butter
Slice the goat cheese into 1/2 inch thick slices (I use dental floss, loop around the goat cheese and pull like you are tightening your shoe laces). Mix 2 egg whites (place one yolk in jar, the other you can toss or save for another use), with a T of cold water. Place bread crumbs in a separate bowl. Dip goat cheese slices in egg then crumbs and place on plate. Feel free to cover and refrigerate for days, or just up until you fry (just north of medium: 2 T butter, 2 T olive oil) and serve.
Also add to jar: vinegars, sugar, KS&CP, olive oil—then shake like mad. Stores well in fridge up to a week. Toss mixed baby greens with enough dressing to serve.
Note: this comfortably serves 6; feel free to halve the recipe. BUT I like to make it, serve it and then use all the extra rounds of goat cheese and dressing for lunches in the days following. In some instances I put two rounds of goat cheese per plate. I love the flexibility of this salad; use it as you will!