Decadent crispy goat cheese on a bed of arugula tossed in a light vinaigrette, topped with toasted walnuts and sliced pears.
For the crispy goat cheese:
- 4oz log of goat cheese
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup seasoned panko bread crumbs
- 2–3 tbsp olive oil for frying
For the dressing:
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp champagne vinegar
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp honey
- salt and black pepper to taste
To assemble the salad:
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
- 5 oz baby arugula
- 1 Anjou pear
- Slice cold goat cheese into four rounds. Form into discs with hands if it crumbles a bit. Put on a plate and put it in the freezer.
- Add 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp champagne vinegar, 1/2 tsp of dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp of honey and salt and pepper to taste to a small bowl and whisk. Or add ingredients to a small mason jar and shake. Set aside.
- Set up dredging station with 1 egg, beaten with a splash of water in one bowl, 2 tbsp of flour in another bowl and seasoned panko in another bowl. Coat cold goat cheese rounds in flour, then egg then gently press into panko bread crumbs, making sure each round is thoroughly coated. Return to plate and place back in the freezer.
- In a dry skillet over medium high heat, toast walnuts in a single layer, stirring frequently for about 3-5 minutes until they smell slightly nutty. Make sure to watch carefully so they don’t burn. Transfer immediately from hot skillet to bowl or plate to stop cooking.
- Core and thinly slice pear.
- Heat 2-3 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Take breaded goat cheese rounds out of the freezer and pan fry for 2-3 minutes per side until golden and crispy. Remove and place on a paper towl to drain.
- Toss arugula with a small amount of dressing until just moistened. Arrange toasted walnuts, sliced pear and warm goat cheese rounds on a bed of dressed arugula and serve immediately with more vinaigrette on the side.
This recipe makes an appetizer salad for four people or a nice sized lunch salad for two.
The dressing will make more than needed for the salad. I recommend lightly dressing the arugula and then serving with more vinaigrette on the side. This basic vinaigrette will keep well in the fridge for several weeks to enjoy with any salad.
Keywords: goat cheese, goat cheese salad, crispy goat cheese salad, fried goat cheese, arugula and goat cheese salad, appetizer salad