This Fried Goat Cheese & Grilled Beet Salad creates an impressive side salad or satisfying main course when topped with grilled chicken.
I am a sucker for goat cheese. When glancing at a menu or scouring recipes goat cheese always catches my eye.
Is that why you’re here?
I’ve had versions of this salad at several restaurants (order it every chance I get) and the two things that always make it work are the beets and the goat cheese—it’s become a sweet-savory obsession.
Warming the goat cheese mellows its tanginess and creates a fork-gliding creamy texture. Panko crumbs crisp against the hot pan for a delicate crust, adding structure for the soft cheese.
You’ll wonder why you haven’t set a golden disc of fried goat cheese atop every salad you’ve ever eaten … it’s certainly the reason this salad will win your affection.
Any greens will work for this salad, but a mix of spring greens with arugula or fresh herbs is best for tenderness and flavor. There’s no need to get carried away, it’s supposed to be simple; let the cheese and beets shine. For that matter, any fresh beets will work too.
I used Chioggia beets (pronounced kee-OH-gee-uh) a.k.a. Candy Stripe beets, which are mild and sweet. Their rosy exterior and dramatic streaks of red on white make this heirloom variety ideal for raw applications; unfortunately, the color fades when cooked, which is why I added the carrots for a little pop.
Roasted or grilled beets are an earthy-sweet contrast to the bright, salty cheese. Grilling the beets adds a smoky dimension to the salad but is optional.
The possibilities for dressing are wide open, though it is best to stay with oil and vinegar type dressing like our Orange-Dijon rather than covering it with anything heavy or creamy. We dressed this one with extra-virgin olive oil and Vermont Maple Balsamic, which is seasonal, though Aged Fig Balsamic is excellent too.
You can find a delicious assortment of flavored balsamic on-line at Venice Olive Oil Company, we enjoy them on salads, meats, cheese, as well as desserts. [No compensation was received for this recommendation.]
Fried Goat Cheese & Grilled Beet Salad
- 3-4 small beets (or 2-3 medium) -- washed and all but 1" of stems removed
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- avocado or olive oil
- 2 1/2 ounces goat cheese (chevre) -- divided into 1 inch thick slices or discs
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 large carrot , sliced or shredded
- 3 cups spring greens
- pecans (optional)
- aged balsamic & olive oil -- for dressing
- Remove greens from beet root, leaving 1 inch of top stem (this is optional, but adds texture to the salad). Scrub around the tops with a vegetable brush while rinsing beets under water to remove any sandy soil.
- Using a paring knife or vegetable peeler, gently peel the beets at the top by the stem to remove any tough skin (small, tender beets require less peeling.) For small beets, quarter each one into wedges -- for larger beets, cut into 1" wide wedges.
- Place beets in a saucepan with salt and cover with water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium and simmer until beets are fork tender, about 15 min. (optional) Drain beets and toss with olive oil. Grill over high heat until beets are lightly charred in spots, 3-4 minutes on eat side or stirred a couple of times on a vegetable grate. Remove from grill and set aside.
- Cut or shape goat cheese into a 1" thick x 2" diameter disc. Press goat cheese into panko crumbs on all sides. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil a cast iron skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, place the goat cheese in the skillet cook until golden brown on both sides (about 2 minutes on each side).
- Prepare bed of greens on a plate, scatter carrots and pecans over lettuce. Arrange beets on the salad and top with the goat cheese. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic over salad and enjoy.
Recipes for More Delicious Salad Toppers
Cedar Plank Grilled Chicken
Roasted Vegetables Medley with Rosemary & Thyme
Maple Candied Walnuts
OMG we loved this!
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
One of my favorite salads and you’ve done it beautifully. I had to chuckle about your mother’s comments. We grow up and our tastes change. 🙂
Judy Purcell says
Thanks Karen, for your kind compliment. Yes, I laugh about my mother’s comments too … just not in her presence. 😉
John@Kitchen Riffs says
I love goat cheese. And beets. What a terrific combo — thanks.
Looks seriously delish, Judy! I love goat’s cheese, but Pete won’t go near it – like you, he grew up with goats (not a goat farm, just a few on his family’s property) and was made to drink the milk as a child. He now won’t go near goat anything! 🙂
Your mother’s comment sounds just like something my mother would say! 🙂 I can’t say if I would have enjoyed goat cheese as a kid because I didn’t try it until I became an adult. I’ve always loved it and yes, warming it makes it even better. And believe it or not, the only way I’ve been able to enjoy beets is when served with feta., so this is a winner!
Delicious love those fried goat cheese, thanks for sharing with Hearth and Soul blog hop. pinning.
Carol at Wild Goose Tea says
I grew up on a farm. We had cows. The neighbor had the goat herd. I drank a lot of goat milk.
Your story about your Mom’s cheese reminds me of my Mom’s cottage cheese. It was flat out awful. Luckily she realized that too, except she kept trying. Then when she bought cottage cheese it was the kind with the pineapple in it. Do they even make that now?
Just in the last couple of years after of a lifetime to dislike, I am eating beets. It all began with a beet salad I had. This is a quite a special beet salad with the treatment of the cheese.
Nusrat Azim says
Not too crazy about goat cheese but how passionately you have celebrated goat cheese here! Your recipe now triggered an tumulus urge in my heart to try some fried goat cheese along with a grilled Beet salad 🙂
Always a pleasure to read your posts and stare at your honest images 🙂
There’s so much to love about this salad, Judy. First off, it looks so appetizing. It’s the grill marks. Then there’s the warmed goat cheese and the whole thing is enhance by that dressing of yours. Delicious! It reminds me of a roasted vegetable salad that I enjoyed in Italy. Although there were no beets, there was a small wheel of Camembert on the plate. Wonderful!
What’s for dinner! My turn to try this fabulous salad along with your Beef Stroganoff recipe.
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
If I see this dish on a menu at a restaurant, it is alway a contender. Your salad is definitely talking to me. 🙂
Perfect timing Judy as I am increasing my salad intakes and this sound really delicious, got to try them.
Mandy - The Complete Book says
🙂 Mandy xo
Maureen | Orgasmic Chef says
That salad ticks every box I have. What a wonderful dish!