My kids were out of school for Spring Break the week before last. Spring Break always kind of does me in — once we hit that break, I am ready for summer. I get a little taste of not having to be up at the crack of dawn every weekday, and I kind of like it. My kids are plenty busy in the summer, but I like the change of schedule. In anticipation of summer I have been thinking about salads a lot lately. This one was borne out of my fairly new love of goat cheese. I love the flavors of goat cheese and fruit together.
I think I could eat this salad every day for lunch. I’d love to top it with some grilled chicken and make it a main course. I think we’ll probably do that this week.
- ½ chopped Nuts (I used Pecans, but Walnuts, Almonds or Pine Nuts would also be good)
- 8 cups Baby Spinach Leaves
- 16 medium to large Fresh Strawberries, washed and hulled, divided
- 1 (6 ounce) package Fresh Blueberries
- 11 ounce Log Goat Cheese, sliced into rounds (I made 11)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- ½ cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- 8 strawberries, quartered
- ¼ Balsamic Vinegar
- ¼ cup sugar (or 2 tablespoons honey)
- ½ teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup Olive Oil
- Heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Add nuts to the dry skillet and toast until lightly browned and fragrant, about 5 minutes or so. Keep them moving so they don't burn! Remove from the skillet and set aside to cool.
- In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Remove from the heat and stir in the Panko Breadcrumbs. Place your sliced Goat Cheese rounds on a cookie sheet and press the bread crumb mixture into the tops of the sliced cheese. Place under the broiler for a few minutes until light golden brown. Watch carefully so they don't burn.
- In the bowl of a food processor, or a blender, combine the 8 strawberries, Balsamic Vinegar, sugar (or honey), Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Slowly pour the olive oil through the chute with the processor or blender running to combine.
- Divide the Spinach leaves between plates. Slice the remaining strawberries and place on the spinach along with the blueberries and toasted nuts. Drizzle with dressing and place 1 or 2 Goat cheese rounds on top.