Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Roasted Beet, Grilled Chicken and Toasted Gorgonzola Cheese Crouton Salad

 Remember a few weeks ago when I had my first experience with Kale....well my friends, my little organic delivery box of fruits and veggies also delivered another newbie for me. Beets. I was terrified of beets. They're always that weird side dish on a Thanksgiving table that you can't really tell what it is, and so most kids and some adults (like me) shy away from it. I have never had beets before in my life until the other night, and I'm so glad I finally discovered them!

They manage to be super hearty and just a bit sweet (I didn't know that combination was a possibility) and they are so delicious when roasted to perfection. I combined them with grilled chicken, red onion, toasted pecans and a delicious panko crusted goat cheese crouton (recipe I took again from the AMAZING Deb over at Smitten Kitchen - her cookbook came out and I'm impatiently waiting for mine to arrive in the mail!). All of these flavors blended absolutely perfectly together. It was the BEST dinner I've had in a long time and has officially become my new favorite dinner salad. I literally took my first bite and "wowed" out loud over a salad. It was that good. So if you want to have the same experience...GO MAKE THIS NOW. 

Roasted Beets

4 large beets, peeled and sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Simply slice the beets, and wrap them in foil and let roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and let steam in the package for an additional 5 minutes. 

Goat Cheese "Crouton"

4 ounces fresh goat cheese, softened
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1/4 cup Panko** breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon coarse or sea salt
Olive oil, for frying
Freshly ground black pepper

Form the goat cheese into large medallions. Stick in the refrigerator (or freezer) to chill. This will help them maintain their shape as you are frying them. While the goat cheese is chilling, put flour in one bowl, a beaten egg into another and the bread crumbs into a third. Season the Panko bread crumbs with salt and pepper.

Heat a skillet on medium high heat and add the olive oil.

Remove your goat cheese from the fridge, coat it in flour, then the egg and finally coat the goat cheese medallions in a thick coating of bread crumbs. Fry the "croutons" in the skillet and top your salad with this delicious, melty and cheesy crouton. 

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