Wednesday, June 5, 2013

An Alternative to Croutons: Grilled Goat Cheese Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette (gluten, garlic and cow dairy free)

Wow!  It's been THAT long since I blogged *studying the date of last post*.  Oops!

Sorry for the lack of posts this last month.  I've just been busy.  Some of what I've been up to will translate into blog posts on the blog here, but in the meantime, with the way the heat has been this summer, I thought I'd share a quick and easy salad idea that gives you a great alternative to traditional croutons.

Note, if you can do gluten and garlic you can just get some Italian style bread crumbs at the store to coat the goat cheese slices in and it'll give you about the same results, but be aware that those things have stuff like salt added to them, so be careful not to over salt your slices if you do that.

Grilled Goat Cheese Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette (gluten, garlic and cow dairy free)
  • Salad of Choice (I like to get the fresh herb salad from Safeway as it's my favorite blend :)
  • 1/2 to 1 block of goat cheese (I use Kirkland brand).  You want a firmer goat cheese for this, not a chevre type.
  • 1/2 cup rice crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp. ground sage
  • 1/4 tsp. ground thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. ground oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
Cut goat cheese block into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices (depending on how confident you are in your flipping abilities).  I usually get about 4 slices per 1/4 block of goat cheese.

Mix rice crumbs and herbs in a bowl (you can use a whisk, or I use a very clean hands to toss instead).  Carefully coat the goat cheese slices with the crumb mixture (if you have pretty crumbly goat cheese I would suggest pouring the crumbs onto a plate and then placing the cheese on the crumbs and then sprinkling and lightly pressing crumbs onto the top of the slice to help it from falling apart).

Preheat a non-stick skillet over medium low heat.  Once hot, add slices to the skillet (I use a spatula to help transport them) and toast slices until golden on each side...2 to 3 minutes per side.  Place over salad while still warm (do this RIGHT before serving so you don't wilt your salad).

To serve:  Drizzle balsamic vinegar over salad mixture and then drizzle with olive oil and then just cut down through your goat cheese slices into your salad as you eat.  Super yum!  Or, if you want a slightly more complicated dressing that comes out yummy and thick try this one...

Honey Mustard Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. prepared mustard (Safeway's Spicy Brown Mustard is garlic free)
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. honey (to desired sweetness level)

Place all items into a bowl and whisk to combine and drizzle over salad.  You can add powdered herbs if you wish to give it some added flavors, but go light as remember you have seasoned breading on your goat cheese :).

Enjoy all!

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