This colorful salad takes from many inspirations– the good fork (restaurant in red hook), barefoot contessa, and my friend who had great idea to throw roast sweet potatoes into a salad. The fried goat cheese- obviously the main attraction- is also versatile- and seems very dinner party appropriate. For the purpose of this picture, I wanted to try what I had seen in a magazine- using cookie cutters (or as I did tracing around a mason jar lid w. a knife)- to make a stack (cookie cutters would have been way easier and prettier). But in real life, what I didn’t use of the beets and potato for the picture- I ended up chopping– and adding to arugula one night and for lunch the rest of the week- I mixed it with lentils, kale and wheatberries. Topped w. a disc of fried goat cheese.
If I could add a note about dark greens- Kale, spinach, broccoli rabe, chard- whatever. However you cook them- when you are done- along w. sprinkle of sea salt at the end– squeeze fresh lemon juice over it. Makes such a difference in bringing out the flavor- it’s almost absurd.
For my salad I used:
3 beets- medium sized
1 sweet potato
half cup lentils- i use the french green- lentils de puy
half cup wheatberries
1 bunch lacinato kale. W. lemon, olive oil, salt and stock- if handy (if not, don’t worry)
1 log goat cheese (or less depending on how many disks you want to make- i only made 1/8 of a log- can scale ingredients below down accordingly)
fresh bread crumbs or panko (1 cup) (i used panko)
fresh parsley- if have on hand
spring of fresh rosemary
clove of garlic
salt & pepper
Beets. To roast: Preheat oven to 375. Lightly coat in oil and wrap in foil. Put them in a pan– depending on the size they take about 45-min to an hour to cook. When done, you can stick a fork in and then will come back out easily. The monster pain in the ass thing I hate about beets is the peeling. The way I do it– is using paper towels, hold the beets and rub off the outside skin. (if anyone has any other tricks tho- please share!)
Sweet potato- don’t wrap in foil. Can just place on cookie sheet or directly onto rack. Also took about 45 mins. Test done same way.
Wheatberries- Rinse. 1 1/2 cups water to add 1/2 cup wheatberries. Bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, uncovered cook about 30 mins.
Lentils- Rinse. 1 1/2 cups water to 1/2 cup lentils. Bring to a boil. Lower and simmer, uncovered 15-20 mins.
Kale– rinse thoroughly. Can rip up and take ribs out (not necessary but some prefer). Heat a large pan over medium heat. W. some excess water still on it, throw kale into hot pain. Cover and cook for a few minutes to cook. I have actually found- if you have it handy- a little bit of stock adds much flavor. Keep cooking until soft. When done, drizzle w. a little olive oil, ream a fresh lemon into it, salt and pepper.
Goat cheese. I tried this two ways— w. flour, eggs and panko. And with just panko and eggs. The flour holds their shape a little more- so good for if you were doing some sort of dinner party and had to pick them up w. your hands? But w. just panko and eggs was a bit more delicate– melty and delicious- so I would recommend that.
Contrary to my initial thought- goat cheese is actually easier to cut while very cold– not soft. So pop in the freezer while prepping everything else. Slice goat cheese into thin disks w. sharp knife or unflavored dental floss. If this is giving you trouble, you can always take off a bit– roll into a ball- and then press w. palms to flatten. My discs were about 2 1/2 inches wide (to match the size of my cookie cutter vegetables) and maybe 1/2 inch thick.
Lay out two flat bowls, one w. egg lightly beaten and the other with panko and chopped fresh parsley, if using.
Heat olive oil in stainless steel skillet until very hot.
Dip goat cheese in egg, letting excess drip off. Then roll around in the panko mixture.
Cook until golden brown– takes only about a minute on each side.
Dressing (which was vaguely inspired by something Reed concocted to dip bread in at an Oscar’s party some time ago.) I used my fancy new mortar and pestle. Combining a good glug of olive oil– and rest of the ingredients in bowl. And give it a few good smashes to combine and awaken the flavors.