I’ll make no claims about being a big cook, but I love having a few basic recipes in my pocket that I can whip out in a pinch. The kinds of foods that make the my list are easy to prepare, not super time-consuming, and ones that keep ingredients as close to their natural state as possible. I also love fruits and vegetables so anything fresh and in season is a plus for me.
Ever since I’ve put together this salad it’s been one of my favorites. Just reading the name makes me drool. It’s seriously the perfect combination of sweet, savory, crisp, and crunchy. Yum. The key for me is the goat cheese, which I roll in panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) and then bake. An even easier variation would be to crumble plain goat cheese over the salad, and to elevate it even further (but minimize some of the heart-healthiness) you can fry the panko-coated cheese. Smitten Kitchen has a great version here.
Candied walnuts (I like Emerald brand, but if you wanted to get really fancy you could make your own)
Raspberry vinaigrette (again, I use store-bought, but making your own isn’t too hard)
Note: You can use any amount of the ingredients as you like, which is part of the beauty of the recipe. No measuring required! If you can’t find fresh strawberries, try sliced nectarines.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Take goat cheese straight from the refrigerator (it’s easiest to handle while cold) and using the back of your fork, mix with a sprinkle of panko. I usually use 1 oz of cheese to 1 teaspoon of panko.
- Form cheese mixture into two balls and roll into another tablespoon or so of panko.
- Bake cheese balls in oven for 10 minutes.
- While cheese bakes, cut strawberries and arrange over a bed of spinach, along with candied walnuts.
- Top salad with baked cheese.
- Toss with dressing.
Yields 1 serving.
Simple, but mind-blowingly good.