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The warm goat cheese croutons are the star of this recipe. Substantial enough on their own they also pair perfectly with a basic bed of mixed greens topped with a light drizzle of good olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar. Salad lovers will be delighted by this special treat.

A good salad is always the perfect way to start out any meal, or you may just want to chow down on this crispy delicious salad on its own. The addition of the goat cheese crouton adds flavor and richness and pairs nicely with soups or as the appetizer for your three, four, or five-course meal.

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Mixed Green Salad with Warm Goat Cheese Croutons

Ingredients:

Goat Cheese Croutons

  • 1 8-oz. goat cheese log, room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • ½ c. pork rind crumbs
  • ½ c. vegetable or coconut oil

Salad:

  • 4 c. mixed salad greens 
  • 3 T. quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T. aged balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Optional: 4 whole fresh strawberries, for garnish
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Mixed Green Salad with Goat Cheese Croutons

Mixed Green Salad with Warm Goat Cheese Croutons

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

In this recipe, the warm goat cheese croutons are the main focal point. They are substantial enough on their own to pair perfectly with a basic bed of mixed greens topped with a light drizzle of good olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar. They provide just enough warmth and crunch to elevate this otherwise everyday combination to a special treat. 

Ingredients

  • Goat Cheese Croutons:
  • 1 8-oz. goat cheese log, room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • ½ c. Panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ c. vegetable or coconut oil
  • Salad:
  • 4 c. mixed salad greens
  • 3 T. quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T. aged balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Optional: 4 whole fresh strawberries, for garnish

Instructions

To prepare the croutons, divide goat cheese into four 2-oz. portions. Lightly pound each 2-oz piece of goat cheese between 2 sheets of wax paper with a meat mallet or rolling pin until they are about ½” thick. Place goat cheese rounds in the freezer for about 30 minutes or until firm.

Create a “breading station” by adding whisked egg white to a shallow dish, and the pork rind crumbs to another.

Remove the goat cheese rounds from the freezer and dip, one at a time, into the egg whites until coated on both sides before pressing into the crumbs. (Press firmly to ensure each goat cheese round is thoroughly coated with crumbs on both sides). Transfer the coated goat cheese rounds back to the wax paper and set aside.

In a small skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it starts to shimmer. Carefully add each coated goat cheese round, one at a time, to the skillet with a slotted spatula and cook until the first side becomes golden brown, approximately 30 seconds to one minute. Flip and repeat until the other side is equally browned. Remove from skillet and transfer to a plate. Tip: Don’t allow croutons to stay in the hot oil too long or the goat cheese will become too melted to hold its shape.

Divide salad greens among four serving dishes or bowls and drizzle with olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Top each salad with a warm goat cheese crouton right before serving. Enjoy!

Optional Strawberry Garnish: With the hulls intact, slice each whole strawberry into several equal-sized segments, starting from the bottom and carefully working toward the green part. (Don’t cut all the way through the strawberry). Gently spread the individual segments into a fan shape, and place on top of each goat cheese crouton right before serving.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 552Net Carbohydrates: 5.1g

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