Garden fresh beet salad with Panko-crusted goat cheese. The goat cheese takes minutes to make and takes this salad to the next level!
Don’t tell my husband but I have a secret. When I make a pretty boring dinner, I add a special salad to make the meal feel more interesting. Like when I made this fig and prosciutto salad to add a little excitement to a chicken and zucchini dinner. Or the one featured here. The rest of the meal was a grilled New York strip and some sauteed sugar snap peas. (Both of which are fabulous by the way, but not exactly exciting.) I started out with the intention of making a simple beet salad with some roasted beets from my beloved CSA. Then I remembered the goat cheese. But I throw goat cheese on top of salads all the time. How could I take it to another level?
Panko-crust it! Yes, yes, yes! Who doesn’t love a disc of warm Panko-crusted goat cheese? I could almost forget the salad and just eat those warm, delicious, creamy-yet-crunchy discs of cheese. And guess what? They are ridiculously easy to make. Set atop a beautiful sweet beet salad, they are perfect with almost any meal, or as a light lunch. And to save time, roast the beets ahead, then toss them in the fridge until ready to use.
- 2 medium or 4 small beets, scrubbed
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 3 oz. fresh goat cheese
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 egg, lighly beaten
- ¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 3 cups mixed greens (arugula, lettuce, and baby spinach work well)
- 2 Tbsp. thinly sliced scallion greens
- ¼ cup pea shoots (optional)
- A few basil leaves
- 2 tsp. good-quality balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Place each beet on a square of aluminum foil and drizzle with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, then wrap foil around beet.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on size) or until a knife easily pierces the beets. Allow to cool then peel of the outer skin and discard. Set beets aside until ready to use; they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Divide goat cheese into 2 even pieces and shape into a disc about ½-inch thick. Dip each in flour to coat. Dip in egg, then in Panko. Wrap in plastic wrap and put in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, divide greens among two salad plates. Sprinkle with the scallions, basil and pea shoots, if available.
- Cut the beets in half or quarters and arrange around the greens. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Heat ¼-inch of olive oil in a small frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the goat cheese. Fry goat cheese until golden, about 1 minute per side.
- Drain on a paper towel and place on top of the salad.
- Serve immediately.