Pear Salad with Baked Goat Cheese

Have you stuffed yourself to the brim this past month with holiday goodies?  Yes?  Well, get ready for just a little bit more indulging with New Year’s approaching.  But until then, have a nice salad to help you come down from the sugar high that is the Christmas holidays.

Salad does not have to be something tedious that you have to force yourself to eat.  We all know that the toppings are the best part of the salad, so you should have fun with them!  A salad is a perfect place for flavor combination experimentation, and this is how I came across my love for the combination of dried salami and pears.  Salami and pears are an odd coupling, but they work together.  Also, to spice up the ordinary dinner salad I breaded and baked goat cheese slices. Definitely a step above your average cheese crumbles.

Goat Cheese Adapted from Cooks Illustrated via The Way the Cookie Crumbles
Salad from Cinnamon Freud


For the Baked Goat Cheese:
6 ounces goat cheese
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons herbes de Provence
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Olive oil, for brushing

For the Salad:
2 pears, sliced
3 cups baby spinach
1 1/2 cups baby arugula
1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted
4 ounces dried salami, chopped
Vinagarette (such as Raspberry Walnut or Balsamic)


In a small bowl, combine panko, pepper, and herbes de Provence.  In a separate bowl, whisk together egg and Dijon mustard.  Cut goat cheese into 6-8 pieces.  Roll into balls.  Working with one ball of goat cheese at a time, dip and coat in egg mixture.  Then roll coated goat cheese ball in bread crumbs.  Put goat cheese on plate and flatten slightly.  Repeat with remaing goat cheese.  Freeze for at least 30 minutes, until firm.

Preheat oven to 475°F.  

Brush olive oil lightly on the bottom of a baking sheet.  Arrange frozen goat cheese in a single layer.  Brush the tops with olive oil.  Bake for 7-9 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden brown.

While goat cheese bakes, heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add pears to pan and cook for 9-11 minutes, until soft.  

In a large bowl, combine spinach, arugula, pear, walnuts, salami, and vinaigrette.  Toss.  Divide salad among four bowls.  Top with warm baked goat cheese.  Eat immediately.
Serves 4.

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