I don’t know about you, but salads tend to all turn into the same mix in our house after a while. I start out with all these fantastic ideas about new mix-ins and combinations, but then when it comes to making it, I always seem to grab our standbys.
Crispy goat cheese rounds are one of my all-time favorite toppings for a salad, and I was so excited to make (and eat!) this dish. We use goat cheese on salads quite a bit, but I had never tried crisping up rounds at home. Turns out—it’s super easy. And incredibly delicious. So I’m pretty sure that means everyone needs to be having this salad at least once a week.
It’s a perfect salad for a light lunch for yourself, a fun twist on your normal side salad on a weeknight, or even a fancy first course for a dinner party. Regardless of when you make this, I have a feeling it will end up in your normal round-up of recipes, too. I know it’s going to be a regular in our meal planning!
For this mix, I did a combination of red leaf lettuce (because it’s gorgeous), arugula (because it’s peppery and amazing), carrots, green onions, sliced apples, more raisins, and pecans. Plus a simple dressing made with olive oil, a super thick fig balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. This salad may look fancy, but it was incredibly easy to put together. My sister and I worked on this while baby boy was napping and had a perfect Saturday lunch with big bowls of this salad mix and a glass of wine.
Because honestly—is there anything better than crispy, warm rounds of tangy goat cheese on top of all your other favorite things? I don’t think so.
Crispy Raisin and Pecan Crusted Goat Cheese Salad
Serves 2 (multiply as needed)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 2-4 minutes
- 3 oz. plain goat cheese
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped pecans
- 1 Tbsp Sun-Maid raisins, softened in warm water and finely chopped
- ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups arugula
- 1 cup red leaf lettuce
- 1 small apple, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup pecans
- ¼ cup Sun-Maid raisins
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 Tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- Chill the goat cheese in the freezer for 5 minutes while you get the coating mixture ready.
- In a small bowl, mix the chopped pecans, chopped raisins, panko, parsley, salt, and pepper together. Put the flour on a small plate. Place the egg in a small bowl and beat. Set aside.
- Slice the goat cheese into 4 equal pieces (about ¼-½ inch thick), wiping your knife with a warm paper towel in between slicing.
- Coat both sides of each slice of goat cheese with a little flour, dusting off any excess. Toss the goat cheese into the beaten egg, and then coat in raisin-panko mixture. Repeat with all 4 slices of goat cheese.
- Place the coated cheese on a foil-lined plate and place in the freezer for about 5 minutes while you heat up the pan.
- Place a pan over medium heat and add the 1 Tbsp olive oil. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the goat cheese rounds and brown, turning after about a minute or so, until browned on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Divide the arugula, red leaf lettuce, apple, pecans, and raisins between two plates or bowls. Top each salad with 2 rounds of the crispy goat cheese.
- In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil with the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Pour over the salad and serve.
Brandi Evans is the cook and dishwasher over at BranAppetit. She likes to keep a good balance between healthy and tasty meals and homemade desserts and other treats, and loves using seasonal ingredients.