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FoodSalads

Baked Goat Cheese Salad with Caramelized Onions, Strawberries Pecans

This is a recipe that has been requested by many over the years.

What makes this salad so special?  Hmmm, it could be the bold-flavors, or the freshness, or maybe the yin and the yang of the strawberries and goat cheese! Or maybe it’s just that it looks so pretty and tastes so darn good!  Give it a try if you want to impress your family and friends!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 large Spanish onions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 egg whites
  • 4 oz chevre or spreadable goat cheese
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 Tbsp chopped raw unsalted pecans
  • 12 cups baby arugula
  • 2 cups thinly sliced strawberries

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step One:  Caramelize the onions. Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium-high and lightly mist it with cooking spray.  Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.

(NOTE:  The skillet will be quite full to start, but the onions will shrink as they cook.)

Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft, sticky and light caramel in color, about 1 hour.  Remove them from heat, transfer them to a large plate, and let them cool at room temperature for 10 minutes

Step Two:  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F.  In a medium bowl, combine panko, thyme, salt, and pepper.  In a separate medium bowl, lightly beat egg whites and set them aside.  With your hands, gently press goat cheese into 4 1-oz balls, and flatten each into 1/2-inch-thick patties.  Dip patties in egg, turning to coat, then gently press both sides into panko mixture, repeat process to coat each patty twice.  Transfer to a small tray, cover loosely with plastic wrap and freeze for 20 minutes.

Step Three:  After completing step 2, prepare the dressing.  In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, Dijon, and additional salt and pepper; set it aside.

Step Four:  Line a medium baking sheet with foil and mist with cooking spray.  Arrange the cheese patties in a single layer on one-half of the sheet and mist the tops with cooking spray.  Bake for 6 minutes.  Flip patties and bake for 6 more minutes, until golden.  Turn oven heat off and remove the sheet from the oven.  Add pecans to the remaining half of the sheet.  Return to oven until pecans are warm, about 3 minutes.

Step Five:  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine arugula, strawberries, and dressing.  Toss gently to coat and divide among serving plates.  Top with onions, pecans and cheese patties, dividing evenly.

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