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Recipe Monday: Fried Goat Cheese and Apple Salad

June 4, 2012

Around these parts, there is one salad I can guarantee K. will eat. She’s not a fan of salads, you see, and she certainly doesn’t like much—if any—dressing on the salad she does eat. But, I have found a way to get her enthusiastic about salad as a meal. All it took was a sweet-ish dressing and fried goat cheese to do it. 😀

This is an awesome fall or winter salad when you can get the mind-blowingly delicious Honeycrisp or Ambrosia apples, but during the spring and summer, Red Delicious is a decent stand in. The key is a crisp, sweet apple, so don’t get a Granny Smith or Golden Delicious.

This recipe serves four side salads or two entree salads.

1 bag spring mix salad
1 large apple (fall winter, Honeycrisp or Ambrosia; spring/summer, Red Delicious)
12oz goat cheese (I prefer Il de France brand)
1C panko bread crumbs
3 eggs whites, lightly beaten
1/2C walnuts
2TBSP apple juice or apple cider (in fall/winter, I exclusively use cider)
2TBSP apple cider vinegar
2TBSP oil (I use canola, but you can use whatever oil you like)
1/4tsp dry mustard
1tsp honey
salt and pepper to taste
2TSBP butter & 2TBSP oil for frying in

First tip: buy some unwaxed, unflavored dental floss. It makes cutting soft cheeses like goat cheese a breeze. Cut the log of goat cheese (which should be very chilled) into twelve disks. I tend to halve the log, halve each of those, and then third each of the four sections. It’s the way I’ve found to wind up with the most even sized disks.

Dip the disks into the egg white, and then the panko, setting the breaded disks on a plate. Freeze the disks 15-30 minutes. It makes frying them less tear-inducing.

In a large salad bowl, mix the apple juice/cider, vinegar, oil, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper. Taste it. ALWAYS taste your food. Make sure it has enough salt and pepper, that it’s not too sweet or too tart. Adjust it to your liking. Slice your apple into thin slices and toss in the dressing. Add your salad greens and toss everything together.

In a pan over medium-high heat, heat your butter and oil. Fry your goat cheese to a golden, crispy brown. I should take about a minute to a minute and a half on each side. Cook it too low a heat and you’ll end up with a melty, frustrating mess. Drain them on a paper towel.

Portion out your salad into four or two servings. Sprinkle walnuts on the salads. Add the goat cheese: three for side salads, six for entree salads. I tend to then pour any remaining dressing from the salad bowl onto the salads, but there usually isn’t much left after tossing the salad.

There you go! An awesomely delicious, light salad for any occasion.

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