Warm Goat Cheese Salad with Prosciutto, Figs, Marcona Almonds, and Port Balsamic Vinaigrette
The goat cheese patties require 2 to 3 hours chilling time before frying, so plan accordingly. Find port balsamic vinegar at specialty grocery stores or at www.ooliveoil.com.
9 ounces semi-soft goat cheese (chèvre)
1 recipe Port Balsamic Vinaigrette (follows)
1/2 teaspoon snipped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon snipped fresh chives
Pinch ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup fine dry breadcrumbs or 1-1/2 cups panko (Japanese-style
Vegetable oil for deep fat frying
10 ounces arugula
2 ounces very thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into thin strips
24 dried or 12 fresh black mission figs, halved
3 ounces Marcona almonds, toasted
Let goat cheese stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Prepare Port Balsamic Vinaigrette; store in refrigerator in covered glass container.
In small mixing bowl combine goat cheese, parsley, chives, and black pepper. Divide goat cheese into 12 pieces; form into small patties approximately 1 1/2-inches in diameter and 1/4-inch thick. Place on parchment paper-lined pan; cover loosely and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
Place flour in shallow dish. In another shallow dish whisk together eggs and two teaspoons water. Place breadcrumbs in third shallow dish.
Coat one patty with flour, making sure to shake off any excess flour. Dip patty in egg mixture, making sure patty is completely coated in egg. Immediately dip in breadcrumbs. Return patty to parchment-lined pan. Repeat with remaining patties. Loosely cover; refrigerate 2 to 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°F. In medium saucepan or deep fryer heat 1 1/2 inches oil to 350°F. Fry patties, a few at a time, about 30 to 45 seconds or until golden brown. Remove from fryer with slotted spoon and transfer to wire rack placed on baking sheet. Bake 5 to 7 minutes in preheated oven. Remove from oven; keep warm.
To assemble salads, toss arugula with vinaigrette and arrange on six plates. Garnish salads with prosciutto, figs, and Marcona almonds. Top each salad with two goat cheese patties. Makes 6 servings.
Port Balsamic Vinaigrette
In medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup port balsamic vinegar,* 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard, and 1 tablespoon minced shallot. Gradually whisk in 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to room temperature before serving; whisk to combine.
*Tip: If unable to get Port Balsamic Vinegar, replace it with 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and 1 to 2 teaspoons port wine.