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A Restaurant-Worthy Warm Goat Cheese Salad Recipe

With baked goat cheese croutons and sweet, crisp pears, you won't have to order a salad ever again.
A Restaurant-Worthy Warm Goat Cheese Salad RecipeMitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Can you believe that a salad with no meat and no cheese has more calories than a Wendy’s Baconator and large fries? Nearly every restaurant seems to serve their salads in troughs with buckets of salad dressing, adding so many extra calories that aren’t worth it. If you want to drop 15 pounds this year, replace every restaurant salad you eat with a homemade version. Start with this one: The warm goat cheese crouton and sweet, crisp pear will make a salad believer out of anyone. It’s basically the goat cheese salad recipe to end all other salads.

Nutrition: 370 calories, 22 g fat (6 g saturated), 660 mg sodium

Serves 4

You’ll Need

1 log (4 oz) fresh goat cheese
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp dried thyme or Italian seasoning
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 egg, lightly beaten
1⁄4 cup walnuts
16 cups mixed greens or arugula (6-oz bag)
Balsamic vinaigrette
1 pear, peeled, cored, and sliced

How to Make It

  1. Slice the goat cheese into four 1⁄2″ disks (a piece of unflavored dental floss makes this job easy).
  2. If the cheese crumbles, use your hands to form it back into disks.
  3. Pour the bread crumbs onto a plate and toss with the thyme and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
  4. Dip the goat cheese into the egg, then into the crumb mixture and turn to coat evenly.
  5. Place the disks on a plate and into the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up.
  6. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  7. Place the goat cheese on a baking sheet coated with non-stick cooking spray and bake for 10 minutes, until the cheese is soft and the crumbs are toasted.
  8. Remove. While the oven is still hot, toast the walnuts for 5 minutes.
  9. Toss the lettuce with the vinaigrette and pear. Divide among 4 cold plates. Top with the walnuts and goat cheese.

Eat This Tip

Fresh Goat Cheese

Break free from the reliance on cheddar and mozzarella and discover some of the truly fantastic cheeses that too many serious eaters overlook. Fresh goat cheese has a tangy creaminess that makes it one of the most versatile in the dairy case, great for crumbling onto salads, spreading on sandwiches, or folding into warm pasta dishes. Our favorite goat cheeses are made by Cypress Grove Chevre and are available in supermarkets nationwide. An ounce has just 70 calories and 6 grams of fat, making it one of the healthiest cheeses you’ll find.

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