Fried goat cheese & strawberry salad

(Disclaimer: Apologies for lack of beautiful photos in this post. I was so excited about eating it I got carried away. Sorry not sorry)

I recently made a life-changing discovery: I can eat goat cheese.


It’s wonderful, and true! Goat cheese has low levels of lactose meaning I can actually consume it in small-ish quantities.

Naturally, I’ve run with this discovery, throwing myself head first into all the recipes I know that call for goat cheese. I didn’t know where to begin–goat cheese in pasta? Goat cheese toasts? Goat cheese eaten plain off a spoon?


But, boringly enough, I started with a salad. Actually, what am I saying?? This salad involves frying goat cheese, there’s nothing boring about that.

Secret: if your goat cheese crumbles apart, you can smoosh it back together with your fingers and no one will ever know

Although honestly the real MVP of this meal might be the strawberry vinaigrette. I don’t love fruit in salads which makes me weird, but I love this vinaigrette. It’s the right amount of sweet and tangy and absolutely perfect. I did leave the actual strawberries out of the salad because with the vinaigrette it seemed like overkill.


Basically, make this salad and you’re already winning at summer.


Fried goat cheese & strawberry salad
(Adapted from Southern Living)

A note on timing: This is best served as soon as the cheese comes out of the fryer, leaving the goat cheese rounds crisp on the outside and melty on the inside. If preparing multiple things, have everything else ready before you start frying since it only takes a few minutes.

Serves 6

2 four ounce goat cheese logs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
5 ounces arugula
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries, optional
1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced into rings, then quartered

For the vinaigrette:
1 cup quartered fresh strawberries
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds, optional (I omitted because what is the point of poppy seeds? They just end up in your teeth)
Combine strawberries, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl, making sure strawberries are mostly submerged.  Let stand 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, place arugula in a serving bowl. Prepare cucumbers and red onion and add to arugula.
After 15 minutes, transfer the strawberry mixture to a blender and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Turn blender on low and gradually add olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Return mixture to bowl and whisk in poppy seeds if using.

Cut each goat cheese log into 4 rounds. Gently press each round to about a 1/2-inch thickness on a large plate and freeze 20 minutes.

Place the flour in a small bowl. Whisk together the egg and milk in a second small bowl. Mix together the panko, salt, and pepper in a third small bowl. Remove the goat cheese rounds from the freezer and dredge in flour, dip in egg mixture, and dredge in panko mixture until coated. Place on a plate and chill for an additional 5 minutes if your cheese is feeling soft.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium until hot. Add goat cheese rounds to skillet, and cook until golden brown on each side, about 3 to 4 minutes total. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.

Top salad with goat cheese rounds.

Whisk vinaigrette just before serving, and drizzle over top.
Strawberry salad with warm goat cheese croutons:

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