Goats Cheese Salad with Raspberry vinaigrette – a sublime combination!
This goats cheese salad with raspberry vinaigrette completely bowled me over! I know, I know it sounds terribly smug and full-of-myself, but the flavors just all blended so beautifully that I have to pat myself on the back!! I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can cook a whole day and struggle so to match flavors and textures, that by munch time, my appetite is gone and I just look at my family while they eat. This time however, the goats cheese salad just worked and I ate about half before I even called the family. Fruit and cheese is such a classic combination…goats cheese and fruit…even better!
Fairview makes the most divine goats cheese but the cheese that lands in my shopping trolley rather often these days is the Crottin, full flavoured, firm, white mould cheese made to a traditional recipe. It is just perfect, perfect in taste and portion size. I have made a salad with this goats cheese before, baking the cheese in the oven for 5 minutes just to soften it slightly. I paired the goats cheese with gooseberries and a passion fruit salad dressing! My family loved it!
This time I wanted to use another summer berry, the raspberry, I think the raspberry is my new favorite summer fruit…..I love the flavor and I love the way it behaves in front of a camera! (Speaking of cameras, my camera had to go in for a service, so all images on this post, was taken with hubby’s iPhone!)
Back to the salad….and this is how my mind works all the time…..
I have the cheese.
I have the fruit.
What else? What will work with it? – meat or grains or… nuts….. NUTS, YES! How will I add the nuts? Mixed in the goat’s cheese or ….. hang on, what if I crumb the goats cheese! Eureka!
Ok, what leaves – rocket, butter lettuce, watercress…… rocket and mint. Rocket for the salad and mint in the dressing!
Yes, I think I have it! A recipe!
Goats Cheese Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
For the goats cheese
2 x 100 g portions of goats cheese – I used Crottin from Fairview
100 g Macadamia nuts – chopped finely
100 g fresh breadcrumbs
zest of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
1 egg – beaten
2 T flour
vegetable oil for frying
For the dressing
125 g raspberries – ½ for the dressing and ½ for the salad
1 lime – zest and juice
2 t sugar
about 5 mint leaves
2 T extra virgin olive oil
For the salad
2 handfuls of rocket leaves
½ the raspberries
2 nectarines or any other fresh peaches – peeled and sliced
Mix the chopped macadamia nuts and breadcrumbs and add the zest of the lemon as well as salt and pepper to taste. Just remember, the cheese is very salty, so rather under season than over season! To crumb the goats cheese, simply dust each portion with flour, dip in the egg wash and then in the crumb mixture. Repeat the egg dip and then the crumb mixture. Place on a plate and leave in the fridge for at least an hour.
To make the salad dressing. Place ½ the raspberries and mint leaves in a pestle and mortar and crush until fine. Add the lime zest, sugar, lime juice as well as the olive oil and mix. Taste and adjust. What you want is a perfect balance between sweet and sour! You can at this point strain the dressing through a sieve to produce a really smooth dressing, I however wanted a rustic sauce with texture from the pips of the raspberries!
To assemble the salad
Heat the vegetable oil in a small pot and when the oil is hot, deep fry the goats cheese until golden brown on all sides. This takes about 1 minute, no longer! Remove the cheese from the oil and drain on kitchen toweling. Place a handful of rocket on two plates, top with the other ½ of the strawberries and the peach slices. Place a portion of goats cheese the middle of each salad and drizzle with the raspberry vinaigrette. Enjoy!
I was not remunerated for the post, I simply love this cheese!
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