Panko-Almond-Crusted Goat Cheese Salad With Blood Orange-Rose Nectar Vinaigrette by Lynne


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Soft-Ripened Cheeses

For the fried goat cheese:

* 10.5-ounce log Ile de France fresh goat cheese
* 1/3 cup flour
* 1 egg, beaten with 1/2 teaspoon water
* 3/4 cup panko crumbs
* 1/4 cup ground almonds
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the salad:

* 1 medium head red-leaf lettuce
* 1 medium head Boston lettuce
* 1-1/2 pints fresh strawberries, cored and sliced
* Sliced almonds for garnish
* Chopped chives for garnish

For the Blood Orange And Rose Nectar Vinaigrette:

* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
* 3/4 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice
* 2 teaspoons grated blood orange zest
* 1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
* 1-1/2 tablespoons rose nectar (see recipe notes)
* 1 teaspoon mild-flavored honey
* 1-1/2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil


For the salad:

* In a small dish, combine the panko crumbs, ground almonds and salt.
Slice the goat cheese log into 12 rounds. Place the flour, egg and panko-almond mixture in three separate shallow dishes.Coat the goat cheese slices in flour, dip in the beaten egg, then coat with the panko-almond mixture. Press the cheese rounds lightly into the crumbs mixture to make sure that they adhere well and set them aside while you assemble the salads.Wash and dry the two heads of lettuce and tear them into bite-sized pieces. Toss to combine and divide amongst four salad plates.
Arrange the strawberry slices on top of the lettuce and garnish with a few sliced almonds, leaving space in the center for the fried goat cheese rounds. Set the dishes aside.

* In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the cheese rounds in a single layer and fry until light golden-brown on the first side, about 2 minutes. Being very careful not to break the crust, turn the rounds over and fry for another 2 minutes.
Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to blot any excess oil.

* Arrange three of the rounds in the center of each salad plate. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and garnish with a sprinkling of chopped chives and serve immediately.

Blood Orange And Rose Nectar Vinaigrette:

* Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté until softened, about 1 minute. Add the blood orange juice and zest. Raise the heat to medium-high and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens to a syrupy consistency, about 5 to 7 minutes.

* Transfer the juice-shallot mixture to a small bowl and combine with the mustard, rose nectar, honey, vinegar, salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

* Makes about 2/3 cup ~ Recipe Notes ~ Rose nectar (or syrup) is lightly flavored and adds a distinct floral aroma to the dressing. If you don’t have any, just use an additional 2 teaspoons of honey in its place.