Fried Goat Cheese Salad with Pear and Arugula

I believe in a well-rounded diet.

Fried goat cheese is round. A pear is also kinda sorta round.

So today I'm sharing with you a favorite salad of mine, based on a fried goat cheese salad I had at Bacchus in Richmond's fan area.

To start, freeze goat cheese for 15 minutes. This will make slicing it easier and won't affect the taste! While that's happening, assemble the troops:

What's great about this recipe is that you probably already have the breadcrumbs, eggs, and flour in your kitchen. So once the cheese is frozen, slice it up into pieces about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. I used dental floss to easily cut through the cheese, but had to reshape it a bit at the bottom.

PS - more tips for frying goat cheese at the bottom of the post.

Dredge the cheese into flour, then eggs, then breadcrumbs, making sure it gets evenly coated at each step.

Oops, missed a spot...soon after this picture I realized I needed two hands to keep going and then put down the camera...

Next, fry the cheese (I love saying these words together) in hot oil that just barely coats the bottom of a non-stick pan, until golden brown on each side. To test if the oil is hot enough, I usually will dip a tiny corner of whatever I'm frying into the oil - if it sizzles immediately, it's ready. If not, it needs more time to heat up.

Is there anything more beautiful? I mean, I'm sure there is - but it's hard to think of something while you're staring at that, isn't it?

Toss the arugula with fig balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and pear. The sweet fig flavor compliments the peppery arugula. Top it with the fried goat cheese and enjoy your rich, well-"rounded" meal. :o)

Up next...fried brie?

Fried Goat Cheese Salad with Pear and Arugula
serves three; yields about 8 pieces of fried goat cheese, depending on how thick you cut the cheese

For fried goat cheese

  • 16 oz. goat cheese log (plan or herb flavored)
  • 1 cup Italian or panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • olive oil
  • Fig balsamic vinegar
  • If using panko breadcrumbs, you'll need the following for seasoning. If not -- ignore!
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • pinch of kosher salt

For salad

  • 4-5 cups arugula or arugula-blend lettuce
  • 1 medium pear, cubed
  • Lawry's Seasoned Salt and black pepper, to taste

1. Freeze goat cheese for 15 minutes. While freezing, prepare dredging station with three small bowls. Beat two eggs in a bowl. Set aside. 

2. Pour 1 cup bread crumbs into another bowl. Set aside. If using panko breadcrumbs: add the parsley, thyme, granulated garlic, ground black pepper, and kosher salt and stir to combine. Italian breadcrumbs are already seasoned.

3. Pour 1/2 cup of flour into a final bowl. Set aside. Line a sheet pan or plate with wax or parchment paper.

4. Remove goat cheese from freezer and unwrap. Slice into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces.

5. Put the cheese round into flour, then egg, then panko breadcrumbs. Flip cheese in each bowl to coat on both sides. Put the coated cheese round on your lined pan or plate.

6. Put a little olive oil in a nonstick pan, enough to coat the bottom. Set it on the stove over medium-high heat (you want it hot, but not smoking). When the oil shimmers, drop in 3-4 cheese rounds, depending on the size of the pan. Do not overcrowd.

7. Set the cheese down gently in the hot oil. It should start to bubble around the edges immediately. Keep an eye on your cheese, as it cooks fast. When the cheese is brown on one side, flip it over carefully with a spatula or use tongs.

8. Remove from the oil and place on the parchment paper. While cooling, dress arugula and cubed pear with fig balsamic vinegar and olive oil to taste. Top with warm, fried goat cheese.

Tips for frying goat cheese:

  • To make the cheese easier to slice, freeze for about 15 minutes to firm it up before cutting into rounds.
  • Use a sharp, non-serrated knife to cut. Be sure to rinse with warm water and wipe it down with a paper towel between slices. Goat cheese is sticky.
  • Try cutting it cheese-shop style, with a piece of clean stainless steel wire—or unflavored dental floss.
  • The cheese may crumble a little as or after you slice. Just smush it into a rough, round shape and keep going.


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