Since I had a friend coming over for lunch, I decided to make a salad that featured the figs and goat cheese. I like Ina Garten’s method of coating the slices of goat cheese with egg white, then quickly frying them. This makes the salad feel more appropriate for the cool, cloudy weather we have been having.
I toasted some walnuts and added a little warm honey to a simple vinaigrette. Instead of the fresh breadcrumbs that Ina recommends to use in the final coat for the goat cheese, I used panko, my favorite Japanese breadcrumbs.
All you have to do is prep the goat cheese, toast the nuts and assemble the salad while the goat cheese heats and browns. The warm goat cheese on the chilled salad with the rich taste of the figs is the combination I wanted to bring together.
TIP: Use unflavored dental floss to cleanly slice the goat cheese.
Serves 2 for a main course, 4 as a side salad
- 8 1/2-inch thick slices of plain goat cheese
- 1 egg white beaten with 1 teaspoon water
- 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoon olive oil, divided use
- 1 teaspoon organic honey
- kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 4 cups organic baby greens
- 8 organic fresh figs
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1. Coat each slice of cheese with some of the egg white mixture. Dip slices in the panko and roll until coated. Set slices on a rack and chill in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the salad.
2. Heat a small skillet and add the walnuts. Cook until lightly toasted, stirring a few times. Once you smell the nuts toasting, remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
3. Prepare the vinaigrette in the bottom of a large salad bowl. First, warm the honey in a microwave for several seconds. To the salad bowl, add the vinegar and whisk in the mustard, honey and optional salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and whisk again.
4. Add the greens to the vinaigrette and toss. Stem and halve the figs. Add the figs and toasted walnuts to the salad and gently toss.
5. Using a medium-sized skillet, heat the butter and remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the goat cheese slices and cook until lightly browned on both sides.
6. Serve individual portions of the salad. Top each plate with 2-4 slices of the toasted goat cheese. Serve.