Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sasha's Kitchen: Herbed Goat Cheese Salad with Strawberries

Goat cheese is one of my favorite foods, and I especially love it in a salad, when it is breaded and warm, the way they do it in good restaurants.  It's actually not that hard to achieve the same result at home by using the proper technique.  This salad, with a homemade basil dijon vinaigrette is enhanced by any seasonal fruit, but this time of year, it is great with fresh local strawberries, which can be arranged outside the perimeter of the salad for a pretty presentation.  This recipe serves four as an appetizer, or two as a dinner salad.

Sasha's Herbed Goat Cheese Salad
5 oz salad mesculin greens
sliced fresh strawberries
9 T canola oil
1 T dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, diced
3 T red wine vinegar
1 T finely diced basil
4 oz herbed goat cheese, cut into four rounds (I used Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery)
2 egg whites
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

First, slice the goat cheese into four rounds.  Then, scramble the egg whites with a whisk and coat in the whites, then cover with the panko.  Recoat with the whites and cover with a second layer of panko.  Place on parchment paper (so it doesn't stick to the plate) and put in the freezer for half an hour.  Heat up canola oil in a frying pan and fry for about two minutes on each side over medium high heat.  Place on paper towel to absorb excess oil.  Serve while warm.  To make the dressing, whisk together the garlic, vinegar and dijon mustard.  Pour in oil and mix constantly into the vinegar base to emulsify.  Add the basil and mix well.  Add about 2/3 of the dressing to 5-6 oz of salad greens.  You can add a bit at a time to get the desired effect so you don't get a soggy over dressed salad.  Serve with sliced strawberries.

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