Strawberry & Goat’s Cheese Croutons Salad
Remember me saying earlier about balancing flavors and textures? Well this is a great example. You have the creaminess and savory taste of avocados, with the sweet and slightly acidic strawberries, on springy mixed leaves – perfect!
Preparation time: 40 mins
Cooking time: 5 mins (plus 20 mins freezing time)
Total time: 1 hour
- 4 ounces of goat’s cheese logs
- 2 1/2 cups of fresh strawberries
- 1 cucumber
- 1/4 red onion
- 5 ounces of mixed baby greens
- 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoons of black pepper
- 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of poppy seeds
- 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons of whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup of Japanese breadcrumbs (panko)
- 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoon of dill sprigs
How To Make Your Strawberry & Goat’s Cheese Croutons Salad:
- Using a sharp chef’s knife and wooden cutting board, cut each goat’s cheese log into 4 rounds. Press down on each round gently till they are about 1/2 inch thickness.
- Place your rounds onto a baking sheet and place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
- Using a precise paring knife, cut 1 cup of strawberries into quarters, and slice the remaining 1 1/2 cups into medium slices.
- Thinly slice your red onion using the paring knife.
- Peel your cucumber using a y-peeler (wastes less flesh). Now, using a sharp chef’s knife, halve your cucumber lengthwise, remove the seeds, and then cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slices.
- Cut your baby greens into bite-size pieces, if necessary.
- In a small bowl, place just the quartered strawberries (not the slices), sugar, vinegar, 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper. Mix together and allow to stand for 15 minutes.
- Pour the strawberry mixture into a blender, and process for 30 seconds until you have a smooth puree.
- Turn the blender onto low, and gradually add in the olive oil steadily until combined.
- Pour the mixture back into the bowl, and whisk in the poppy seeds using a small balloon whisk. Set your vinaigrette aside.
- Place the flour into a small bowl. In a second slightly large bowl, whisk the milk and eggs together using a large balloon whisk.
- In a third small bowl, mix together the panko, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper.
- Take your goat’s cheese rounds out of the freezer. Working in batches, dip each round first into the flour bowl, then into the egg bowl, and lastly into the panko bowl, making sure each round is evenly coated. Chill the first few rounds in the fridge while you finish off the last few rounds.
- In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over a medium heat.
- Line a plate with paper towels and place near the skillet. Add the goat’s cheese rounds to the skillet, and cook for 4-5 minutes until brown on both sides, flipping over with a solid spatula. Place the goat’s cheese croutons onto the paper towel lined plate.
- In your salad /presentation bowl, arrange the baby greens, and then top with the reserved strawberries slices, cucumber, onion and the goat’s cheese croutons,
- Quickly whisk your strawberry and poppy vinaigrette again using a small balloon whisk, drizzle over your salad, and toss together well.
- Snip the dill directly over the salad using herb scissors. Serve your salad with serving tongs.
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