I often see posts on food blogs about recreating dishes from restaurants at home. While I’m definitely jealous of this kind of ambition, I typically don’t try to duplicate restaurant dishes. My philosophy is that the reason that I want to go to a restaurant is because I want something that I don’t want to make at home.
But as we know, there is an exception to every rule. Every summer my family’s favorite vacation spot is Block Island, RI. Most of the restaurants on this island are the typical burger places or seafood spots. There is, however, one standout place that is a small hole in the wall on a side street. The food is a step above everything else on the island, and you can usually tell by the hour long wait for a table any night of the week.
They have a great warm goat cheese salad. It is an arugula salad with toasted sliced almonds, dried cranberries, sliced piquillo peppers, and warm crispy round of goat cheese on top. I didn’t try to duplicate this salad exactly because I didn’t have all of the components on hand. But I aimed to recreate the warm goat cheese and put together a good mix of textures and tastes to make a comprehensive side salad. This is a great way to dress up your daily does of greens!
Crispy Goat Cheese Arugula Salad
Scale ingredients to number of servings required
- Traditional bread crumbs
- Goat cheese (3 inch disc per serving, about 1/2 inch thick)
- Dried cranberries
- Spiced pecans
- Olive oil (for goat cheese and dressing)
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Spread about a half cup of bread crumbs on a baking sheet (1/2 cup is enough for about four servings). Drizzle a little olive oil on the breadcrumbs, and toast in oven for about 5 minutes until golden brown.
- Allow bread crumbs to cool. Cut goat cheese into discs that are about 1/2 inch think. Form patties that are about 3 inches in diameter. Brush a little olive oil on the goat cheese. Coat the goat cheese discs completely with the cooled breadcrumbs.
- Assemble the salad by combining the arugula, dried cranberries, and chopped pecans. Season with salt and pepper and dress with oil and vinegar.
- When the salad is almost ready to be served, warm the goat cheese up in the oven again for about 5 minutes until warmed through.
- Plate the salads, and place a crispy goat cheese disc on top of each salad (it’s easier to serve this plated in individual portions instead of in a big salad bowl).
Here is a great recipe for a crowd. It’s quick and easy but will definitely be the hit of your next picnic. It can also hold up in the heat so it’s great for your next outdoor soirée.
Ramen Noodle Salad
1 pkg broccoli slaw
1 bunch scallions chopped
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup sunflower seeds
2 pkgs ramen beef noodles (crumbled)
1/2 cup oil
1/3 cup vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
2 pkg seasoning from ramen noodles
Mix ingredients for salad base together in a bowl. Mix ingredients for sauce in another bowl. Combine salad and sauce. Best to let the flavors mingle for at least an hour before serving.