P1150882 1 300x270 Walnut Crusted Goat Cheese Salad with BerriesP1150885 1 768x1024 Walnut Crusted Goat Cheese Salad with BerriesP1150905 1 300x225 Walnut Crusted Goat Cheese Salad with BerriesP1150902 1 300x225 Walnut Crusted Goat Cheese Salad with BerriesP1150889 1 768x1024 Walnut Crusted Goat Cheese Salad with BerriesI went to the movies this past Sunday with some friends. We saw Hunger Games, and it was a good movie, although the books were infinity better (they totally changed some details from the book). Anyway, before the movie, we went to UNOs for lunch. After flipping through the menu, a warm goat cheese salad caught my eye…so I ordered it. I was shocked how tasty the dish was, so I knew I had to make it at home for my folks!

I roll the goat cheese in walnuts and then pan sear them in butter to make it crisply toasted. Don’t worry; the tangy center remains firm because you only cook it for a minute on each side. This creamy deliciousness tops a mixed green salad and some scattered, tart blueberries. At the restaurant, the dressing was too sweet for me, so I kept it mild with my recipe. Did I mention that it’s a fresh blueberry vinaigrette? Oh yes. Full of healthy flavor. Overall this dish is the PERFECT spring/summer salad to munch on under the trees, basking in breezy sunshine.

 

6 slices of goat cheese (½ inch thickness, from a goat cheese “log” the thickness of a silver dollar)

1 egg white

1 teaspoon water

½ cup walnuts (crushed/chopped)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

½ cup blueberries

Mixed greens

Blueberry vinaigrette (see below)

 

Spread the walnuts out on a plate.

Whisk together the egg white and water.

Cut the goat cheese and dip into the egg/water mixture. Shake off excess liquid and gently press the cheese into the crushed walnuts. Flip and cover the other side and edges. Put on a plate. Repeat for the remaining 6 goat cheese “coins”. When all of them are encrusted by walnuts, put the plate into the freezer and chill for 20 minutes.

Remove from the freezer.

Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the goat cheese coins and cook for 1 minute per side (just to toast the walnuts golden brown). Remove from the skillet. If there is excess oil/butter, dab with paper towel.

Place on a mixed green salad with blueberries (makes 3 salads).

Drizzle on your desired amount of blueberry vinaigrette (see below).

Serve and enjoy!

 

Blueberry Vinaigrette:

½ – ¾ cup blueberries

1 garlic clove

5-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 ½ tablespoons honey

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Blend all of the vinaigrette ingredients until smooth. Chill for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to blend. It is a thick dressing. If you want it to be sweeter, use sugar instead of honey (it will be a thinner consistency). The UNOs recipe that inspired this dish has a pomegranate-blueberry dressing. It was too sweet for me, but if you want to replicate the flavor, whisk in some pomegranate juice with my vinaigrette recipe to get those two fruit flavors.

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