I long ago gave up the standard lettuce and tomato salad for the majority of the year. Never one to enjoy winter tomatoes in the first place I limited my favorite salad combo to summers only and even then ONLY when fresh, garden tomatoes were available. Somewhere along the way I started using combinations of fruits and cheese to make my salads interesting and available year round.
One of my favorite combinations has always been to combine some crumbled goat cheese with a seasonal fruit; for this post where I worked in conjunction with Sprouts using their branded products, I stepped it up a bit and this Strawberry Salad with Goat Cheese Rounds has become a new favorite.
You might have seen me mention Sprouts in my posts before; I just love shopping there. Honestly one reason is their size; I don’t need a megastore; I much prefer a smaller environment and the ambiance that accompanies it. Since my kids are now both on their own, I’ve switched my meat buying from a warehouse store to Sprouts and it’s where I purchase all of my fruits and vegetable and organic grocery goods. I’m sold on their name brand products and that’s what I chose to use today for this salad; incorporating their Organic Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar and Honey into a dressing to be served over fresh greens with some baked goat cheese rounds.
The combination is perfect; a lovely tang from the cheese accompanied by a strawberry dressing a bit on the sweet side but with a nice acidic kick from the Balsamic Vinegar. This is the perfect time of year for this salad with markets now filled with big, ripe berries but don’t let it stop you in mid summer either. Switch out the strawberries for some raspberries or blackberries and it’s just as fantastic. Fall? How about some apple slices and walnuts in the salad with a dressing that has a hint of apple cider vinegar?
The salad and dressing are perfect for so many combinations maybe I should have called it ‘Mix and Match Fruit Salad with Goat Cheese?’ It’s light, bright and yet still rich with the warm goat cheese. Try it and let me know…we simply loved it!
Strawberry Salad with Goat Cheese Rounds
FOR THE DRESSING
- 2/3 cp fresh strawberries, sliced
- 1/4 cp Sprouts Organic Honey
- 1/4 cp Sprouts Organic Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 tbsp minced green onion
- 1 tbsp whole grain mustard
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup Sprouts Organic Olive Oil
FOR THE SALAD
- 8 oz soft fresh goat cheese, cut into 8 round slices
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
- 2 tsp butter, melted
- 6 ounces (about 8 cups) green leaf lettuce
- 8 ounces strawberries, sliced
- 2 green onions, chopped
- Combine the first seven dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor. Gradually add the oil and pulse until well blended.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pat each goat cheese round to about ½ inch thickness.
- Whisk egg and water together. Put flour and nuts in separate shallow dishes.
- Roll goat cheese slices in flour, dip in egg and then roll in walnuts to coat; pressing gently if necessary to have nuts adhere to cheese.
- Place cheese in lightly greased baking dish; drizzle with melted butter.
- Bake until top has lightly browned, approximately 10 minutes.
- Divide greens, sliced strawberries and green onion among 4 plates; top each with 2 of the warm cheese rounds and drizzle with the strawberry balsamic dressing; serve.
Want more recipes featuring Sprouts branded products?
Check out their website at Sprouts Brand for summertime favorites.
I was compensated by Sprouts for this post however all commentary is my own.