(But here I go anyway.)
There is fried goat cheese on this plate. And there are roasted beets. Match made in my personal foodie heaven? I think, yes. So I think I should preface this post with a statement about my adoration of goat cheese. There is just something about the subtly tangy, creamy, and spreadable cheese. Most of the goat cheese available in your basic grocery store is fresh goat cheese (also known as chèvre, which funnily enough just translates to “goat”) but certainly there are a wide range of other options including a variety of fancier goat cheeses that become a little firmer and delightfully pungent with age.One of my absolute favorite pairings is beets and goat cheese. For New Years, Dave and I were in Washington DC and ate at this adorable little French restaurant in Alexandria that served us a little appetizer of chilled roasted beets, just a few greens, and fried goat cheese. And I’ve been on a mission to recreate this.
I used an 8oz “log” of cheese and cut it into four equal pieces. I then formed each piece into a uniform disc and popped them in the freezer until they were solid.
Then you simply bread the cheese with a basic breading- dredge in flour, then in egg, and then in panko. And then you quickly fry them up until they are lightly browned and warmed through.
The cheese is intended to be the star of this appetizer and it is topped on a small plate of lightly dressed greens and roasted beets. I dare your stomach to not rumble at the thought of that combination. Hopefully I’ve inspired a few of you to give this technique a try.. Have a great weekend everyone!
(Meanwhile, I’m off to fry more cheese.)
Fried Goat Cheese with Beets and Greens
- 8 oz goat cheese cut into 4 pieces
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 cups vegetable or peanut oil for frying
- 5 oz baby greens I used baby kale
- 1 cup diced pre-roasted beets (or about 5-6 small beets, whole, instructions for roasting below)
_For the dressing_
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons good balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- With your hands, roll goat cheese pieces into 4 uniform round discs. Set on a piece of parchment or plastic wrap and freeze for at least 30 minutes
- Meanwhile, if starting with whole beets, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Drizzle beets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes, or until beets are easily pierced with a sharp knife.
- Cool the beets enough to handle, then peel and dice into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
- Prepare the dressing by whisking together the mustard, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
To fry the goat cheese
- Pour vegetable oil into a small skillet or saucepan (I used my cast iron skillet). Turn flame to high heat.
- Meanwhile prepare two plates- one with flour and the second with panko.
- In a bowl, whisk the egg and set aside.
- Remove cheese from freezer.
- Bread the cheese by dipping first in the flour, second in the egg mixture (make sure to coat thoroughly), and finally coating the cheese with panko.
- Using a slotted spoon or spatula, set the cheese in the hot oil, frying for 1-2 minutes, watching for a golden-brown color, flipping once.
- Remove cheese from oil and drain on a paper-towel lined plate.
- Repeat with remaining cheese.
- Just prior to serving toss the greens together with the beets and the vinaigrette.
- Top the greens with the fried goat cheese.