Summer parties are what I am missing this year! It has been a tradition every year where I would invite my foodie friends and enjoy summer evenings with dinner and wine enjoying their company. Laughter, music and some of my fun creations for them to taste. Grilling in the back yard is what we would do most times, as that way I would get to spend time with everyone. Some good cuts of meat sprinkled with simple seasonings fire up the grill, open the wine and chill. While meat is always the star of the dinner table, it does not mean our salads or sides have to take a back seat. Salads can be simple and yet have complex flavors that will tease and please the palate. They can be made with inexpensive ingredients and yet look elegant and taste amazing. Here is one such salad that will make a lovely addition to a summer party.
Beets and fried goat cheese salad
1 beet boiled, peeled and cut into wedges
4 thick (1″) slices of goat cheese
Toasted walnuts to sprinkle ( optional )
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 large egg beaten
Oil to fry
2 cups of Fresh spring mix salad greens
4 tablespoons red wine
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to season the greens
1 – Boil the beets until soft. You do not want them falling apart, just fork tender. Rinse and immediately cool down by running cold water, peel and cut in to wedges
2 – Unwrap and freeze your goat cheese for about 15 to 20 minutes until it’s solid but not totally frozen. Do not cut it yet.
3 – While your cheese is hardening, set up a breading line in the following order: flour, egg, bread crumbs, parchment/wax paper covering wooden cutting board.
4 – In a sauce pan add the wine, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt to season and simmer on low flame until you reach that rich salad dressing consistency.
5- Use a knife to cut 1 inch thick slices of goat cheese, make sure to wipe it off after each cut to stop it from crumbling.
6- Take goat cheese rounds and dip in flour, then egg and then bread crumbs. Lay these onto the lined cutting board. Continue until all slices have been coated.
Note: If your cheese is really soft pop it into the freezer for another 5 minutes to chill.
7- Take a large high-sided skillet over medium. heat, add oil and once oil is hot, fry the goat cheese rounds until crispy on both sides. Remove and drain on paper towel.
8- To serve: Lay out your greens on the serving dish, season with salt and pepper, add the beets Season them salt and pepper as well arrange those amongst the greens. add the toasted walnuts for crunch, Drizzle with the dressing, and tuck the salad with goat cheese rounds.