Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Warm goat cheese salad (aka: an easy way to make a regular salad look & taste fancy)
I've been having some fun with salads lately. Two of my latest inventions, which I will be posting soon, include a chopped brussels sprouts, spinach, and bacon salad, and a smoked salmon and corn nut salad (I know you'll be on the edge of your seat waiting for that one).
There are just so many interesting combinations of ingredients that can go into a salad, and yet we continue to eat the same old tried and true bland salads: lettuce, tomato, carrot, cucumber, croutons, balsamiccccccca8979wjrl;l...
Sorry, I just fell asleep on the keyboard because that salad makes me so bored.
This little trick I learned from Ina Garten is super-easy, but in a matter of minutes it turns a boring old "greens and vinaigrette" salad into a decadent gourmet treat. You simply pan fry a little disc of goat cheese and slap it on top. That's it! Unless you hate goat cheese, I promise this will turn your salad from the "Let's get it over with" course to the "Can I have seconds, please?" course.
Here's how to do it in a simple 4-step process:
Step 1: Toss some baby greens of your choice with a tangy vinaigrette of your choice. I prefer this homemade version: Whisk together some champagne vinaigrette, a few squeezes of lemon juice, salt, a dollop of good dijon mustard, and EVOO. Place the dressed greens on individual salad plates so that they will be ready for the addition of the goat cheese.
Step 2: Take a log of goat cheese and slice it into rounds using a piece of string or unflavored dental floss (In the interest of full disclosure, I actually used minty dental floss to do this once and I promise it didn't make the goat cheese taste minty).
Step 3: Fill one shallow dish with some egg whites, and another shallow dish with some panko bread crumbs. Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a saute pan. Dip both sides of each goat cheese round into the egg, then the panko, then pan fry until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and crisp. Using a spatula, plop the goat cheese rounds directly onto the salad.
Step 4: Eat!