Fresh, peppery arugula topped with golden, crispy goat’s cheese medallions and paired with sweet figs all pulled together with a drizzle of olive oil. This salad seems like it is so simple but the layers of flavors combined with the comforting, warm goat cheese are the ideal salad either as an entree or a side to any dinner.
The first time I had a warm goat cheese salad was in Chicago. The husband and I went to visit what we call his Creighton Crew. These are his friends he went to college with and became family. Among them were newly married couple Praveen and Anita. Praveen’s parents took us out to this amazing restaurant (the name which I have since forgotten).
I ordered a beet and goat cheese salad as I was going through an obsession at that point in time. Whenever I ordered this particular salad, it was usually served with goat cheese crumbles. Imagine my delight when this Chicago restaurant brought out warm, crispy goat cheese medallions! Yes, I have been in love ever since. This my friends, is what we call a game changer!
I’ve longed for this salad over the years many times. I’m not sure why I haven’t made it before, but now that I have, I can’t go back. The gooey and warm goat cheese becomes its own dressing. The peppery arugula has a sprinkle of coarse salt and a drizzle of olive oil. I left the figs alone because I wanted the freshness of them to shine.
I know many other salads usually have so many other ingredients, so why did I keep this salad so bare? Honestly, to me it doesn’t seem bare, I just let the ingredients speak for themselves. Each one has a significant flavor profile that needs to shine.
Figs and goat cheese are a match made in heaven. The peppery arugula balances the sweet figs. It’s this beautiful circle of ingredients.
I hope you enjoy this beautiful salad as much as we did!
Crispy Goat Cheese Salad with Arugula and Figs
- 8 oz. Goat Cheese
- 1 Egg
- ⅔ cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- 8 oz. Baby Arugula
- 8 figs, quartered
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil, divided
- Slice goat cheese into 8 medallions, about 1 1/2" in diameter.
- In a wide bowl or shallow plate, whisk egg well.
- In a separate bowl, combine the bread crumbs, kosher salt, and black pepper.
- In a nonstick pan, heat 1 Tbsp oil on medium flame.
- Dip the goat cheese first in the egg wash, then in the bread crumbs making sure the whole surface is covered with bread crumbs.
- Place the breaded goat cheese in the pan and let cook 2-3 minutes on each side.
- Remove to a towel lined plate when done cooking.
- Season arugula with coarse salt and Olive Oil. Toss to coat well.
- Divide arugula between 4 plates.
- Add figs to the plates then top with warm goat cheese medalions.
- Serve right away.
**For an egg-free salad, replace egg wash with 1/4c milk.