Everything tastes better fresh from the ground, don't you think? Arugula, I learned this month, has the most vivid pepper taste when it’s wild, and I’m only privy to this information thanks to my mother. Recently, with the assistance of my brother, my parents have planted a garden in their backyard this spring, and the vegetables are already starting to sprout.
During a recent visit, I arrived home with green onions, which I spread on my cutting board, admiring the fresh dirt. Yes, dirt from the earth! I couldn’t have been more excited to wash them off. Also present were a head of lettuce greens, and a bunch of arugula. All the salad needed was a little goat cheese to be the perfect weeknight meal.
GARDEN SALAD WITH WARM GOAT CHEESE + GREEN ONION VINAIGRETTE
The best way to slice goat cheese without it crumbling is with dental floss, so raid your medicine cabinet before heading to the kitchen.
6 cups lettuce
Chives, for garnish
4 ounces goat cheese
¾ cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten and thinned with a bit of milk or water
Salt and pepper
Olive oil, for grilling
4 green onions
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste
Place breadcrumbs and the egg into separate, small bowls. On a cutting board, slice the goat cheese with dental floss into ¼ inch slices, about 8 to 10 pieces. One at a time, dredge goat cheese rounds into the egg, then cover with breadcrumbs and set on a small platter. Place the goat cheese into the fridge and chill for 15 minutes.
While the goat cheese chills, wash and dry the lettuce, and keep it in the fridge until ready to plate.
Make the vinaigrette. In a food processor, combine green onions, mustard, salt and pepper, and pulse to combine. Add oil in a slow stream, about half a cup, until the dressing is emulsified and the desire consistency is reached.
Heat a nonstick sauté pan to medium heat and add a turn of olive oil to coat the pan. Add three or four of the goat cheese slices and cook two minutes per side, or until golden brown and heated through. Set aside on a paper towel to sop up any excess oil.
Serve the salad scattered with a few goat cheese rounds and a sprinkling of chives on each plate.