This recipe for Spinach Salad with Crispy Goat Cheese medallions is absolutely delicious and very easy to make. The crispy light breading with its buttery flavor over a tangy goat cheese and with the sweet sour taste of the Raspberry Champagne Vinaigrette... just fabulous!
The vinaigrette I made to go with this salad used a Raspberry Champagne vinegar. It was a terrific choice… it added just the right amount of flavor to the salad.
If you haven’t tried goat cheese… I highly recommend you try it… it has a tangy cream taste… reminded me a bit of mascarpone… just not sweet like mascarpone…. You can get an herbed version which is terrific also. For this recipe I used the plain variety.
Goat cheese is not as difficult to find as it once was… you can find it at most gourmet cheese counters in grocery stores…. I even found it at that mega discounter … believe it or not… Walmart… and it was half the price of what I saw it as in other grocery stores.
This recipe is adapted from a Barefoot Contessa recipe I came across… I changed the salad greens to spinach leaves… I added a sliced fresh mushroom to each salad.. and I changed the vinaigrette …. The results were terrific.
First let me start with the vinaigrette… her recipe called for champagne vinegar which sounded wonderful but I couldn’t find it at the local grocery store… but to my surprise (believe me… it was closer to shock) I found a Raspberry Champagne Vinegar…. I say shock because you have no idea how hard a time I have finding ingredients here. I scarfed it up and the minute I opened the bottle at home and sniffed the vinegar… I knew I would like it… it smelled divine.
To make a vinaigrette you need to emulsify the ingredients… in vinaigrettes that usually means using mustard… Dijon the most often used choice… or a beaten egg yolk…. I tried the Dijon mustard at first and found the taste to be good… but the Dijon over-powered the raspberry flavor in the vinegar… I hesitated to use a raw beaten egg yolk in my recipes … a lot of people are against eating raw egg and with good reason…. so I experimented a bit and ended up using the Dijon mustard… I just cut back the quantity a bit…. you can use the recipe as written or substitute a beaten egg yolk for the mustard if you prefer.
Cut the goat cheese with dental floss (obviously the unflavored variety)… use a sawing motion and it will cut easily.
After dipping the cheese slices in beaten egg and bread crumbs… chill them in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes or so… you want them very cold… and the pan very hot when you cook them so the outside is crunchy and the inside creamy but not a mushy mess.
I used Panko crumbs… they really are perfect for this… you can find them with the other bread crumbs in the grocery store… Progresso makes them and you should find them easily.
My goat cheese “medallions” were more like coins… depending on the size roll of goat cheese you get will depend on how big your slices are. I used a few per salad… and they were gobbled up.
It’s important to use 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (extra virgin has a higher smoke temperature than regular olive oil) and 1 tablespoon butter…. the olive oil tempers the butter so it doesn’t burn as easily and the butter imparts a wonderful taste to the breading.
This salad is absolutely terrific… perfect for a lunch with friends.
Recipe: Spinach Salad with Crispy Goat Cheese Medallions
All you need:
1 log goat cheese (herbed or plain)
1 egg beaten
Panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
Fresh mushrooms, sliced
Raspberry Champagne Vinaigrette
All you need to do:
Slice the goat cheese into slices (½ inch thick) using dental floss.
Dip the medallions of goat cheese into beaten egg then roll in Panko crumbs.
Place on a plate and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes…. this step is a must otherwise the goast cheese will melt through the breading…. remove them from the refrigerator at the last possible minute before frying.
Arrange spinach leaves on a plate and lay 1 sliced large mushroom on the greens.
Heat a skillet with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. You want a very hot skillet…. but do not let it smoke.
Add the medallions of goat cheese… fry about 1 minute.. and peek at the bottom it should be light brown. Flip them over and cook until bottoms are light brown and crispy.
Carefully remove them immediately and place over the bed of spinach leaves and sliced mushroom.
Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and serve warm.
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