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Gourmet Salad Greens with Goat Cheese Medallions Carrots, Beets, and Pecans

Yield: 4

Author: Carol Ann Kates


What is your favorite lettuce? Mine is Spring mix, also called mesclun or field greens. Spring mix can include arugula, dandelion, frisée, mizuna, oak leaf, mâché, radicchio and sorrel. Each of these lettuces has distinct characteristics.


Arugula: Arugula has slender, fingerlike, jagged leaves that resemble elongated oak leaves. This green has a peppery, nutty taste. When picked young, baby arugula will have a milder flavor. Choose arugula with deep, dark green leaves and discard yellow or wilted specimens.


Dandelion: Dandelion has saw-toothed, barb-shaped leaves. This green has the best flavor in early spring. Choose small, pale green dandelion for salads. Use larger, darker dandelion greens for cooking.


Frisèe: This green has delicately slender, curly leaves that range in color from yellow white to darker green. A feathery looking lettuce, frisée has a mildly bitter flavor. Choose specimens with crisp leaves and no sign of wilting.


Mizuna: Mizuna is a delicate Asian green with feathery, jagged leaves. It has a mild peppery flavor. Choose mizuna with crisp green leaves. Pass up specimens with any wilting or browning.


Oak leaf: A type of butter lettuce, oak leaf has crunchy stems and deeply indented, tender leaves that resemble oak leaves. It can be green or red in color and does not have a bitter taste. Choose oak leaf with curly, crisp, firm leaves. It is more perishable than other salad greens and will only keep 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator.


Mâché: Also called corn salad, mâché grows in rosettes of shiny, deep-green, spoon-shaped leaves. Compared to other salad greens, its flavor is mild and its texture is soft. Mâché has a distinct hazelnut flavor.


Radicchio: Radicchio leaves are burgundy-red and white in color with either round or elongated shaped leaves. Radicchio rosso is the name given to the round variety, while the leaves of Treviso radicchio are narrow and pointed and form tighter, more tapered heads. Radicchio has a slightly bitter flavor. Choose specimens with crisp, full-colored leaves and no signs of browning.





This slender plant has spear-shaped leaves and juicy stems. It has an acidic green apple, somewhat lemony taste that can be intensely tart. Choose bright green, crisp leaves with no sign of yellow. Limpness can be a sign of age.


Cleaning salad greens: Before eating, greens should be thoroughly cleaned as they may contain sand and dirt. Pick through them to remove any damaged, wilted, or yellowed leaves. Fill a large bowl with cold water and place the greens in the water. Use your fingers to gently swish the greens around in the water. Any dirt or sand on the leaves will sink to the bottom of the bowl. Remove the leaves from the water and refill the bowl with clean cold water. Repeat the washing process until no sediment appears at the bottom. Dry the leaves thoroughly. A salad spinner works nicely for this purpose.


Storing salad greens: Do not wash salad greens until just before using. Wrap in paper towels or place in plastic bags and store in the vegetable crisper of your refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.


INGREDIENTS

To compose the salad:

  • 6 cups gourmet salad mix, washed and dried

  • 4 to 6 beets, roasted and cut into quarters

  • 12 baby carrots, roasted and slice in half lengthwise

  • Pecan halves for garnish

  • Goat cheese medallions


For the goat cheese medallions:

  • You can use any flavor of goat cheese you prefer. I like the Herbes de Provence.

  • 2 packages (4-ounces) Haystack Mountain® Herbes de Provence goat cheese

  • 2 extra large eggs

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • ½ to 1 cup Japanese Panko breadcrumbs

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


For the dressing:

  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


INSTRUCTIONS

To roast beets:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Trim the leaves, roots, and stems from the beets. Using a vegetable brush, scrub each beet thoroughly under running water. Place beets in the center of a square piece of foil. Drizzle beets with olive oil. Fold the foil over the beets, sealing the sides, making a packet. Place the foil on a baking sheet and roast for 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of beets. When beets are cooled, remove the skin by rubbing beets with your fingers.


To roast carrots:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel carrots and remove any leaves. Cut carrots in half lengthwise. Place carrots on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until carrots are cooked


For the goat cheese medallions:

  • Using a sharp knife, slice goat cheese into ½-inch thick slices. In a small bowl, combine eggs and water and beat with a fork until combined. Place breadcrumbs on a plate. Dip each slice of goat cheese into the egg mixture, then coat with breadcrumbs, making sure slices are thoroughly coated. Place slices on a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

  • In a medium sauté pan, place butter and olive oil over medium-high heat until butter melts and mixture begins to sizzle. Place goat cheese slices in sauté pan and cook until rounds are golden brown on the outside but cheese does not melt through.


For the dressing:

  • In a small bowl, place balsamic vinegar. Slowly add olive oil, continuing to whisk until blended. Set aside until ready to use.


To assemble:

  • Cover 4 salad plates with greens. Place carrot halves, beets, and 2 warmed cheese medallions on top of each plate of greens. Drizzle dressing over greens. Do not toss. Garnish with pecan halves. Serve immediately. Carol Ann


Carol Ann Kates is the award-winning author of cookbook, Secret Recipes from the Corner Market and Grocery Shopping Secrets. She’s an expert in how to shop, select, and store produce for maximizing home cooking outcomes and minimizing time and money spent. As a former supermarket and deli operator, Carol Ann shares grocery-insider wisdom—the same expertise you used to receive when patronizing a mom-and-pop establishment. Contact her at CarolAnn@CarolAnnKates.com and explore her website, www.CarolAnnKates.com.


Copyright 2024 All Rights Reserved Carol Ann Kates


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