Fig and Walnut Salad with Breaded Goat Cheese

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It is officially hot.  Really hot.  Really, really hot. So hot that I get a very attractive brow sweat when I walk to class each day.  I apologize for talking about brow sweat on a website about food, but it’s the truth.

I eat a lot of fruit and veggies most days but especially during the warm summer months.  Something about the cool crispness of veggies and sweet juicy fruit is very satisfying during summer.  I am so ready to go buy my first watermelon of the season soon.

Salads get very little credit in the food-world. Sure, sandwiches are delicious, and desserts are basically sugary gifts from heaven. Salads are relegated to a side dish you have to eat out of politeness often.  But often during the summer I just want something cool and refreshing while I am  melting into a puddle on the sidewalk because of the heat or getting third degree burns from touching my black steering wheel. So that leaves salads or frozen yogurt.

Salads sometimes get a bad rep. They are often thought to be boring and blah, or the exciting salads filled with toppings are secret caloric black holes. But here ye: salads can be fun! And healthy! I promise.

This salad was inspired by a salad my mom had at a French bistro when we visited New York a few summers ago.  At the restaurant I was hot and hungry, and I breezed past the salad section of the menu, straight to the mussels, frites, and desserts sections. Salads had some tough competition with all the other delicious food at my fingertips. Luckily, my mom noticed a little gem of a salad with breaded warm goat cheese on the menu and fell in love. Everything gets a little better with goat cheese, right?

I incorporated the flavors from a favorite tapenade dip, and this delicious salad came to be. It makes a great light lunch, a good side dish, or a wonderful first course.

Consume while standing directly under your AC air vent.  Then follow it up with some frozen yogurt.

FIG AND WALNUT SALAD WITH BREADED GOAT CHEESE
From Cinnamon Freud

INGREDIENTS

For the Goat Cheese:
4 ounces goat cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon herbes de provence
1 egg white

For the Salad:
6 ounces dried figs, chopped
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chopped kalamta olives
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Walnuts, chopped
Lettuce/Greens
Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

For the Goat Cheese:

Cut the goat cheese into 12-16 pieces. Roll into balls and flatten into disks. In a bowl combine the bread crumbs, salt, and herbes de provence. Working with one piece at a time, dip goat cheese into egg white then breadcrumbs. Place on plate. Repeat with remaining goat cheese. Freeze for at least 15 minutes.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Spray pan with nonstick spray (this works better than using olive oil or melted butter). Cook several pieces of goat cheese at a time, 1-2 minutes per side. Keep warm in oven.

For the Salad:

In a sauce pan over medium-high heat combine figs and water. Bring to a boil and cook until the liquid is absorbed, 5-8 minutes. Stir in olives, vinegar, and olive oil. Keep warm.

Combine your greens and fig mixture in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Top with additional balsamic vinegar if desired. Place several goat cheese rounds on top. Top with walnuts.

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3 thoughts on “Fig and Walnut Salad with Breaded Goat Cheese

  1. Joanne says:

    I get back sweat and under-boob sweat going on so I feel you girl! Salads are so refreshing on days like these…especially with GOAT CHEESE (aka love of my life)

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