tropic thunder June 17, 2009
It's hot. Already….and it's only June. As a fan of entree salads and veggies for dinner, it's the perfect way to beat the heat and eat fresh and easily. If there is an opportunity to add cheese to it – particularly goat cheese – I'm even happier.
I came up with this recipe for a recipe contest…and then my computer died, so I never got to submit it. Let me assure you that it is easy, flavorful and visually just lovely. I love the contrast of the juicy, tropical fruit and the crisp, spicy goat cheese. A little sweetness in the dressing ties it all together.
Feel free to wing it with the fruit and garnish you add – pineapple and papaya would be great here, as would a little cilantro garnish. Be sure to serve this immediately after frying the goat cheese so you get the spicy, oozy cheese on the salad!
Tropical Watercress Salad with Spicy Goat Cheese – serves 4 as a starter salad or small entree salad
For the dressing:
- 2 tsp. honey
- 2 tbsp. mango chutney
- 4 tbsp. lime juice
- 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
For the salad:
- 1 bunch watercress, rinsed, dried and tough stems removed
- 1 jar hearts of palm, cut into segments
- 1 medium avocado, cubed
- 1 medium ripe mango, cubed
- 1 small red onion, cut into julienne strips
- 3 green onions, chopped down to the white parts
- 4 oz. soft goat cheese – cut into 4 rounds
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp. canola/veggie/olive oil
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp. white pepper
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing and set aside. If you want it less chunky, feel free to whiz it in a food processor.
- Set out a small pan or plate. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with a tablespoon of water to make an egg wash. In another bowl, mix panko bread crumbs and the 4 spices. Dip the goat cheese rounds into the crumbs, then the egg wash and back to the crumbs again. Make sure they are coated on all sides. Set on pan and place in refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up.
- While the goat cheese is resting, plate your watercress, red onion, mango, avocado and hearts of palm. You can dress it now but I think its better to drizzle the dressing over the plated salad.
- In a medium non-stick, pan,heat your tablespoon of oil over medium heat. You want to see the oil shimmering before you add the goat cheese. Remove from the chill and quickly sear the cheese on each side. You want to create a crust but do not burn the panko and the spices. 2 minutes or so on each side should do it.
- While still warm, plate your goat cheese on the watercress salads and drizzle with mango chutney vinaigrette. Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped green onion. Serve immediately.