elevating the status of the salad

Tag Archives: goat cheese

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It’s that time of year again, when it is hard to be inspired by the root vegetables at the farmer’s market. However, you can add a little goat cheese to anything and it solves most problems in the world, including “the winter that refused to end.” I hope you enjoy this recipe, as we (im)patiently wait for more exciting vegetables. This comes from Cooking Light’s April 2013 issue. 

Ingredients:

  • 4 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups radishes, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch wedges, with root and 1/2-inch stem left on
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (I used about 1 teaspoon dried instead)
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1.  Combine first 4 ingredients in a bowl, stirring well. Add radishes and oregano; toss to coat. Place 1 cup spinach on each of 4 plates. Using a slotted spoon, top each plate with 1/2 cup radishes. Sprinkle each serving with 2 tablespoons cheese and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle remaining dressing evenly over salads.

Dwight Shrute would be so proud, I just know it. I am really taking advantage of all the beets this season.This recipe comes from Food and Wine’s September, 2012 issue. It has the winning combination of beets and goat cheese, and a spicy kick as well.
Also, I had a lovely experience getting ingredients (za’atar, yogurt, hazelnuts, tomato paste, goat cheese) at Sahadi’s on Atlantic Avenue this morning. The helpful grocer teaching me about za’atar explained that it can also be used as part of a salad dressing. I will have to try that. I’ve only been to Sahadi’s on very crowded weekends before, and it was a joy to be able to peruse without feeling like I was in someone else’s way. Oh, summer! 

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium beets (1 1/2 pounds), trimmed (I used 4 very large beets)
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small red chile, seeded and minced (I used dried chile flakes instead)
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon za’atar
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup roasted skinned hazelnuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Warm bread, for serving

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Put the beets in a small roasting pan and add 1/4 cup of water. Cover with foil and bake for about 1 hour, until tender. Let cool slightly.
  2. Peel the beets, cut into wedges and transfer to a food processor. Add the garlic, chile and yogurt and pulse until blended. Add the olive oil, maple syrup and za’atar and puree. Season with salt. Scrape into a wide, shallow bowl. Scatter the hazelnuts, goat cheese and scallions on top and serve with bread.

You can lighten this salad by omitting the goat cheese. However, this particular version was made with Bucherondin, a goat cheese log from Stinky Brooklyn. It is also tasty if you substitute sunflower seeds for the almonds. 

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 6-8 strawberries, sliced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 4 basil leaves, julienned
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. To reduce the vinegar, pour it into a small saucepan along with the brown sugar. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Stir frequently, and be careful not to burn the vinegar. When it reduces by about half, remove from heat. When cooled to room temperature, whisk in olive oil. I added a little bit of salt and pepper, put it in a sealed container and gave it a few shakes.
  2. To assemble the salad, layer spinach, strawberries, goat cheese, almonds, and basil.
  3. Drizzle the salad with dressing just before serving. You will have extra dressing, which you can refrigerate and use at another time.

This recipe comes from Cook’s Illustrated’s Fall Entertaining 2011 magazine. They suggest three versions. This one is with frisee, goat cheese, and almonds. Other variations include :

*watercress, parmesan, and pecans

*radicchio, blue cheese, and walnuts

Any version would be great for a holiday starter. I found this one to be light enough that it won’t weigh you don’t before a big meal. Also, you can make it ahead of time, and then just put it together right before serving.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe but firm pears (I used Bartlett, but you can also use Bosc), quartered and cored
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablepoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small shallot, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 medium head green leaf lettuce, washed, dried, and torn into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
  • 1 head frisee
  • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • 3/4 cup almonds

Directions:

  1. Toss pears, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add pears cut side down in a single layer and cook until golden brown, 2-4 minutes. Using a small spatula or a fork, tip each pear onto the second cut side; continue to cook until second side is light brown, 2-4 minutes longer. Turn off the heat, leave skillet on burner, and add 2 tablespoons vinegar; gently stir until vinegar becomes glazy and coats pears, about 30 seconds. Transfer pears to a large plate and cool to room temperature, about 45 minutes. Cut each pear quarter crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces.
  2. Meanwhile, toast the almonds: Place almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat. Stir frequently until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons oil, remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, remaining 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and shallot together in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper to taste. Add lettuce, frisee and cooked pears to bowl; toss and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Divide salad among individual plates; top each with portions of cheese and almonds. Serve immediately.


This is a beautiful special occasion salad, and our special occasion was that it was Wednesday. I think there is a certain irony to a salad that includes “fried” and “candied” in the title, and I couldn’t resist it. I used beets and Boston lettuce from this week’s CSA share. Thanks to sophistimom for the great recipe, which I adapted a only a little bit.

Ingredients:

For the beets:

  • 2 beets, scrubbed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper

For the candied walnuts:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

For the fried goat cheese:

  •  4 ounces goat cheese
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • Oil for frying

Greens and Dressing:

  • 1 head Boston Bibb lettuce (0r any other greens)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

 Directions:

Prepare the beets:

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a sheet of aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Top with a piece of parchment paper. Place beets on parchment paper, drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap paper and aluminum foil around the beets and bake for 60-90 minutes, or until beets are tender. Let cool completely. Then, cut into 1/4 inch slices and divide each slice into fourths. Meanwhile, lower the oven to 325 and get going with the walnuts:

Prepare the Candied Walnuts:

  1. Mix together the walnuts and maple syrup until evenly coated. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Make a single layer with the walnuts, and heat for 20-25 minutes, flipping once during cooking.
  2. Allow to cool, and then roughly chop the walnuts.

Prepare the Fried Goat Cheese: (NOTE: You will want the cheese to be warm, so you can compile the whole salad, and save the second step below for last.)

  1. Mix cheese with lemon zest, parmesan, thyme, and salt and pepper until well blended. Roll cheese mixture into quarter-sized patties. Freeze for about 20 minutes. Roll in egg, and coat with Panko.
  2. Heat oil in a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan on medium heat. When you put the cheese in the saucepan it should start bubbling immediately. Flip them after 10-15 seconds, and cook on the other side for 10-15 seconds. The cheese should be golden brown.

Prepare the greens and vinaigrette:

 

  1. Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss with the greens.

Compile the Salad:

  1. Layer the greens and vinaigrette, followed by the beets, walnuts and then goat cheese. Enjoy!