I come from a small North Carolina town by the name of Concord. In this little corner of my hometown lies one of my most favorite Italian restaurants of all time - Gianni’s. If you’re from the area, you’ve def heard of it.
I decided to recreate this starter salad from their menu, and its pretty darn close to the real thing! It’s everything perfect. Sweet, grilled strawberries. Peppery arugula. A kick from the shallots. And the little piece of heaven which is fried goat cheese medallion. It’s soo good, I could eat 10 of these nuggets all by themselves! I used Trader Joe’s Honey Chèvre and let me tell you, it is amazing. I highly recommend it with this salad but you can use any goat cheese you like.
I’ve tossed it in a homemade Prosecco vinaigrette. Don’t get intimidated by the Prosecco, doesn’t have to be fancy. I used Kirkland Prosecco from Costco and it’s really good and only $6.99/ bottle. You only need 2 oz for the dressing but hey, drink a glass or two with your salad ;) Super simple and the perfect salad to kick off your dinner or something to impress your guests with! You can even add a piece of grilled chicken or fish if you want to add some protein. Hope you guys enjoy this one!
Summer Salad w/ a Goat Cheese Medallion
1 - 5 oz. bag of baby arugula
8 oz. strawberries, hulled & cut in half
2-3 shallots, thinly sliced
1 - 5 oz. goat cheese log, I prefer Trader Joe’s Honey Chèvre
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
Pinch of salt & sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil, or any other flavorless oil
1/4 cup Prosecco, I used Kirkland brand
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (good quality)
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt & Pepper to taste
1. In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tsp olive oil and grill strawberries for 2-3 minutes on each side then remove from heat. Add arugula, grilled strawberries, and shallots into a large mixing bowl.
2. Add all the ingredients listed for the vinaigrette in a tight lidded jar and shake vigorously. Alternately, place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk quickly to combine everything together.
3. Pour dressing over salad mix and toss together so everything is well coated. Place in refrigerator while you fry the goat cheese.
4. Heat vegetable oil in a small wok over medium heat. Add pinch of salt and sugar to breadcrumbs. While the oil gets hot, cut the goat cheese log into half inch slices then dip each one in cornstarch, dust off any excess then dip it in milk. Lastly dip it breadcrumb mixture and make sure it’s well coated. Repeat until you’ve used up all the cheese.
5. Once your oil is hot (approx. 375°F), carefully slide the breaded goat cheese into the wok and fry until golden brown on both sides. Approx. 1-2 minutes. Remove and drain on a paper towel or rack.
6. Plate your salad and serve each one with a goat cheese medallion or two on top! Enjoy!