Ahhhh, summer. This time of year a luscious green canopy sways in warm winds, and large lettuces of every variety show up at the farmers market. For this recipe I chose delicate butter lettuce because of its tenderness and ability to complement a strong herb like rosemary. I prefer a light fare on warm, humid days, but feel free to load up on more toppings like raw almonds or pumpkin seeds. Note: the prep time required to produce each component for a homemade salad can feel laborious at times. I suggest blending and refrigerating the dressing in advance. Also tear lettuce into bite sized pieces the day you bring it home, then wash, dry, and store well. That way, when inspiration strikes, nothing can stand in the way of you and a clean, delicious summer meal.
Fried goat cheese salad with rosemary vinaigrette
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup olive or neutral oil
1 small clove of garlic
3-4 tablespoons honey
1 healthy sprig of fresh rosemary
salt and pepper
Fried goat cheese
4-ounce log of local goat cheese
1 egg beaten
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
¼ cup ground almond flour
¼ cup all purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup neutral oil
1 large head butter lettuce
2 small oranges, sectioned, skin removed
1 pint sweet local strawberries, sliced
For the dressing, combine apple cider, oil, garlic, honey and rosemary in a blender. Blend until ingredients just come together, rosemary should be partially intact. Salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate until use so ingredients meld.
Place goat cheese in the freezer for 15 minutes. In the meantime, combine parsley, almond flour, all purpose flour, salt and pepper in a small bowl. In another small bowl, blend the egg. Add ½ cup of oil to a cast iron skillet, heat on high until splashing a small droplet of water causes the oil to pop just slightly (stand back while you do this!). Remove goat cheese from freezer and cut into ½ inch medallions. Dredge in egg, then coat evenly with almond flour mixture. Place carefully in pan and brown for about 45 seconds on each side. Remove to a paper towel to absorb oil.
In a large mixing bowl, toss lettuce, strawberries and oranges with dressing. Place into your favorite serving dish and top with goat cheese medallions.