I. love. goat cheese. Whether it's lovingly crumbled, melting on toasty crostinis, or covered in bread crumbs and baked, I'm a huge fan. So really, what better motivation to eat a salad (which – let's be real – is basically just a pile of leaves) than topping it with the cheesey love of my life?
Goat cheese aside, the base of the salad is brightened up by a summery blend of sliced strawberries and crunchy walnuts. You have your choice of dressings, but I recommend either a simple balsamic reduction or the dreamy walnut vinaigrette below.
Warm Goat Cheese Medallions
8 oz. goat cheese
1/2 cup white breadcrumbs
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper
1. Pre-heat oven to 425°F. Use unwaxed dental floss to slice the log of goat cheese into 8 rounds. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat eggs, salt, and pepper. In a separate bowl, mix together the plain and panko breadcrumbs.
2. Bread the cheese by dipping each round into the egg first, and then into the crumb mixture. Dust off excess between each step. For a crisper, more substantial coating, repeat the process once more.
3. Place the 8 breaded rounds on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, just before you're ready to serve them. You know they're done when the crust is crisp and the cheese is oozing.
1/2 cup walnut oil
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
In a blender, combine walnut oil, red wine vinegar, egg yolks, honey, and Dijon mustard. Puree on high until a thick emulsion forms. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stick it in the fridge until you're ready to use it – this helps it to thicken up a little.
Now, to assemble the salad:
Salad greens (spring mix, baby spinach, or arugula all work well)
Walnuts (plain or candied)
Pour a few tablespoons of your chosen dressing in the bottom of a large salad bowl – just enough to coat the amount of salad greens you'll be using. Next, add greens and gently toss until dressing is evenly distributed. Top with sliced strawberries, and sprinkle with walnuts. Serve chilled, adding warm goat cheese to individual platings at the last moment.