I don’t know about you, but I’m still in need of some Thanksgiving detoxing.
Not only did we eat our weight in turkey goodness on the actual holiday, but we’ve been enjoying turkey pot pie soup and turkey shepherd’s pie in the days following. I’m certainly not complaining, but man, you can only eat so much turkey in such a short period of time! Especially when it’s only two people trying to finish up the remnants of a 20-lb bird!
I turned to one of my favorite light salads this week. It’s incredibly simple but definitely “OMG” tasting. This is a standby salad for me. When I’m in a rut, either physically or creatively, I make this salad. It is low on the calories but packs a punch of flavor. Plus, it comes together in minutes! The combination of toasty sesame seeds and warm, gooey goat cheese is so dang delicious. It looks super fancy but is really easy to put together…my kinda food.
If you wanted to add a little heft to this salad, you could toss in some shredded cooked chicken breast (or turkey!), for sure. I just chose to leave it out this time because, like I said, I was in need of some detoxing. No more poultry for this girl…at least for the time being.
The goat cheese is all I need, anyway. It is completely addicting. I’ve been known to make an extra sesame-crusted round for myself just to munch on. Because, after all, even detoxing has to happen in moderation, right?
Don’t answer that.
Spinach Salad with Sesame-Crusted Goat Cheese (makes 4 servings)
For the Dressing:
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
For the Goat Cheese:
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 oz goat cheese, sliced into 1-in-thick rounds**
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup sesame seeds (I used a mixture of white and black)
For the Salad:
8 cups baby spinach (or other greens of choice)
2 apples, cored and thinly sliced
½ cup dried cranberries
⅓ cup fresh chives, chopped
½ cup toasted slivered almonds
1. For the Dressing: Whisk honey, mustard, vinegar, and oil in the bottom of a large bowl. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. For the Goat Cheese: Heat up olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Toss the goat cheese rounds in the flour, then the eggs, and finally the sesame seeds. Make sure the sesame seeds coat the cheese well on all sides. Add the cheese rounds to the hot skillet and cook until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.
3. Meanwhile, toss spinach, apples, cranberries, chives, and almonds with the dressing in the large bowl. Divide the salad among serving dishes and place two warm goat cheese rounds on top of each serving of salad. Serve immediately while the cheese is warm.
**Note: I keep the goat cheese in the fridge until the very last second. Sometimes I even slice and coat it ahead, and then take it out just before searing in the pan. This helps keep its shape and prevents it from turning into a gooey mess!