Think salad is just a first course? Let this decadent crispy goat cheese salad make you think again. Arugula is tossed in a light vinaigrette, then topped with candied pecans, ciabatta crostini, and of course, panko-crusted goat cheese, the star of the show, which lends a creamy richness to this dish. You know what happens when you serve a salad this decadent? All the salad haters suddenly come knockin’.
LOVED LOVED LOVED!!! This is a keeper. Super easy and such a nice salad for the nice weather!
As we so often do, we bought more of these ingredients at the grocery store, followed your recipe and made more a few days later. I LOVE that we are learning to cook and appreciate more than our usual fare.
Thought this was a simple salad but it was absolutely amazing. The flavors and textures worked so well together. Didn't miss having meat.
I would definitely eat it again
This is a perfect balance of taste and texture. The sweetness of the candied pecans serves as a bridge between the tangy goat cheese and spicy arugula. It's the perfect bite. The ciabatta bread has just the right amount of chew. The dressing for the arugula has the perfect balance a of acid and sugar.
Slice ciabatta into six crostini. Halve grape tomatoes.
Form the Goat Cheese Disks
Divide goat cheese in half. Using your hands, form each half into a ball. Divide each ball into two disks, about 1½" in diameter. If goat cheese is already in medallions, leave as is. Place disks on a plate and place in freezer at least 15 minutes.
Toast Crostini and Make Candied Pecans
Arrange ciabatta slices on prepared baking sheet. Brush with 2 tsp. olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown, 6-8 minutes. Place a medium non-stick pan with pecans, sugar, 2 tsp. water, and a pinch of salt over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until pecans are sticky, 5 minutes. Carefully transfer to baking sheet next to toasted ciabatta. Allow to cool before breaking into smaller pieces. Wipe pan clean.
Bread and Fry Goat Cheese
Line a plate with a paper towel. Place liquid egg and panko in two separate bowls or shallow dishes. Season panko with a pinch of salt and pepper. Working in batches, place goat cheese disks in egg, shake off excess, then dip in panko. Be sure to completely coat disks, pressing panko into goat cheese. Heat butter and 2 tsp. olive oil in pan used to cook pecans over medium-high heat. Add breaded goat cheese and cook until golden brown, 2-3 minutes per side. Remove to towel-lined plate.
In a large mixing bowl, combine honey and vinegar. Whisk in 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Plate the Dish
Add arugula and grape tomatoes to vinaigrette. Toss to combine. Taste and add a pinch of salt and pepper, if desired. Place salad on a plate and add candied pecans, two crispy goat cheese disks, and crostini on the side.