Peach and warm goat cheese salad
Peaches and goat cheesePeaches and goat cheese go so well together. Warm goat cheese salad, made with sauteed goat cheese cakes, bacon and frisee lettuce is one of my family's favorites, but I tend to think of it as a winter dish. With this recipe, I lighten the mood with fresh peaches, toasted walnuts and a dressing made of Spanish sherry vinegar and walnut oil. If you liked my Peach, caramelized onion and goat cheese crostini, I think you will love this salad.
Sauteéing the goat cheeseThe secret to this dish is to dip wheels of goat cheese in a lightly beaten egg, followed by a dip in panko and then a brief sauté in butter, until both sides are golden brown and the cheese is warm and soft. So what you get is a nice crispy crust with oozy warm goat cheese sandwiched between. How can this not be good? BTW, goat cheese can be expensive. The best deals I have found on goat cheese is at Costco and Trader Joe's.
Gluten-free optionIf you are gluten-free and just sadly checked this recipe off your list because of the panko, you are in luck. Glutino makes a crunchy corn breadcrumb that works well as a substitute. You can buy it on Amazon, but unfortunately this product is sold in 4-packs, which for most people is a crazy amount of bread crumbs. So look for gluten-free bread crumbs in the gluten-free aisle of your grocery store.
Lettuce tipWash and spin dry your lettuce with a lettuce spinner a few hours or the day before you make this salad. Store it in a plastic bag with a piece of paper towel to absorb any residual moisture. The key to a great salad is well dried, chilled lettuce. If you are used to using bagged lettuce, you may be surprised at the difference fresh lettuce can make.
The herbsRoll the basil leaves into a cigar and chiffonade the cigar. See my post on how to do this. Make sure you use a really sharp knife. If you have extra large mint leaves you can chiffonade them also, but I generally like to tear them to avoid bruising.
Peach and warm goat cheese salad
Yield 6 servings
This salad is a summer variation on the French classic Chevre chaud salade de fromage, or Hot goat cheese salad. The flavors are bright and the recipe can be put together in under 30 minutes.
- 1/2 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 T Spanish Jerez sherry wine vinegar
- 4 T walnut oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 10.5 ounce log of goat cheese
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup panko or gluten-free breadcrumbs
- 1 T unsalted butter
- 1 head butter lettuce, cleaned and torn into pieces
- 1 head frisee lettuce, cleaned and torn into pieces
- 1 handful of basil, chiffonade
- 1 handful mint, torn
- 1 handful of chives, chopped in 1/2" segments
- 2 large peaches, sliced in 1/2" wedges
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
- Combine the shallots and the vinegar in a small bowl. Whisk in the walnut oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Cut the goat cheese log into 6 disks. Take each disk and put it between two layers of plastic wrap. Smash each of the disks down so they are about 1/2" thick and 2 1/2 " in diameter. Use your fingers over the plastic to smooth the edges of the goat cheese disks. The smoother the edges, the better they will hold up to sauteing.
- Put the beaten egg in one bowl and the panko or breadcrumbs in a second bowl. Dip each goat cheese disk in the egg and then in the panko or breadcrumbs. Make sure you coat all sides with crumbs. Set the coated goat cheese disks on a plate.
- Heat a frying pan and add butter. When butter is hot add the goat cheese disks and saute on each side, 2 - 3 minutes per side until golden brown, turning only once.
- Arrange the lettuce on 6 plates. Put a browned goat cheese disk in the center of each plate. Arrange peach slices around the goat cheese and scatter herbs over the entire salad. Drizzle with dressing and garnish with toasted walnuts.