So, there's this salad. And it's pretty much the best Summer salad you'll ever meet. Ever, ever, ever. I'll even take bets! I am that confident!
I met this salad a few years back when a dear neighbor of mine introduced us. Thank you, Tori! And we have been inseparable ever since.
A few key players are needed for this best ever Summer salad.
Player #1: Goat cheese.
And not just regular old goat cheese buuuuut FRIED goat cheese.
You watch Vanderpump Rules, right? Did I just admit something to you? Bravo is one of my guiltiest pleasures, I cannot lie. Anywho, Stassi always talks about the fried goat cheese balls and I've been dying to make my own. Enter fancy crouton idea. And they f*cking rock. If there was ever a time to say the f-word about a salad crouton, that time is now.
Player #2: Grilled peaches.
Nothing screams Summer quite like a ripe peach does. The smell alone is enough to do you in. But throw those babies on the grill to caramelize a bit and you might just pee pee your panties a wee bit.
Player #3: Toasted nuts. More specifically, pecans. Always toast your nuts folks, that's an order.
Player #4: Sweet dates. The perfect little treat for the top of those greens.
Player #5: Lemon & black pepper dressing. Refreshing with a bit of bite.
You can make so many versions of this salad, it will never get old. Use fresh Summer strawberries instead of peaches or use white balsamic dressing instead of lemon. Add grilled chicken for more protein or sliced mushrooms for more Earthiness. Some sort of egg on top would be amazing, too.
Whichever way you mix it up, it's bound to be a salad that actually satisfies AND that you'll crave!
My Favorite Summer Salad with Fried Goat Cheese Balls
Adjust portions for your needs
Sprouts, I used broccoli sprouts
Cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced
Pecans, chopped and toasted
Dates, pitted and chopped
Fried Goat Cheese Balls
4oz goat cheese, makes about 5 balls
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup panko
Salt and pepper
2 cups canola oil
Lemon & Black Pepper Dressing
2 tablespoons of lemon juice, or juice of 2 lemons
Zest of half a lemon
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2/3 cup olive oil
- For the salad dressing, whisk the lemon juice, zest, mustard, pepper, salt and sugar in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle the oil in while whisking until the dressing comes together. I like this with lots of lemon to brighten some of the sweeter bites, but if that's not your style, add a little more oil at a time and taste until it satisfies you. Chill in the fridge.
- For the fried goat cheese balls, put the cheese in the freezer for about 15 minutes. This will make it easier to slice and roll into balls. Pour canola oil in a deep pan for frying and heat to 350° if you have an oil thermometer. If not, heat oil over medium-high heat and test for frying by sprinkling some panko in the oil. If it bubbles at the surface, it is ready.
Prep your three bowls: one with flour plus 1/2 teaspoon pepper, one with the egg whisked with a splash of water and the third with panko and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Evenly divide your cheese log into five slices. Roll into balls and put in the fridge to chill for 5 minutes. Once cheese is chilled and oil is heated, roll the balls in the flour first, then the egg and finally the panko. Drop in the oil and fry for about 2 minutes, stirring around as needed. If you're frying multiple cheese balls, make sure to keep them separated in the pan. Remove with a slotted spoon and let cool on a paper towel.
- Assemble your salad. Dress your greens with some dressing and toss. Then top with sprouts, cucumbers, toasted pecans, dates, peaches and fried goat cheese balls. Drizzle a bit more dressing on top. Put a fork in her and get to work!
Do you know a salad that could top this? If so, you better be sharing with me in the comments!!!
Until next time, hunnis.