Ok, let me say something that you might not like reading: salad is boring. And it takes quite an effort to make it interesting and special: you need a dressing, you need some nuts, you need a topping and you also need to make sure all of these match together. My all-time favorite salad is cucumber & tomatoes, but from my personal experience, it is not a very satisfying lunch or dinner. But after a few years of trying out a few tips, I discovered a way to make my salads a bit more interesting than just veggies with dressing: add something cooked to it.
Grilled zucchini, boiled egg, crunchy chicken or two of my favorites: goats cheese balls and crispy sweet potato. Trow it on a bed of salad, add some crunchy nuts, drizzle it with a quick dressing and there you go: boring just became super-duper-fancy-schmancy. Basically the secret is to deconstruct your favorite dishes, make them into small bites, transform your favorite sauce into a dressing and serve it with greens. Didn’t I just make your life easier now? Never again a boring salad!
Goat's Cheese Balls with Sweet Potato Salad
A different take on the classic goat's cheese salad! These fried goat's cheese balls are also very nice as an appetizer before a nice meal or when you want to treat your family and friends to something nice!
- Goat's Cheese Balls:
- 100 - 120 gr soft goat's cheese (chevre doux)
- 6 pecan nuts (optional)
- 1 large egg
- a small bowl of flour (to coat *)
- a small bowl of breadcrumbs (to coat *)
- vegetable oil (enough to fry in your pan, about 3cm high layer)
- Sweet Potato Salad:
- 1 large sweet potato
- as much salad as you please
- a few radishes
- 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
- Honey Mustard Dressing:
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp fine mustard (Dijon/French)
- 1 tsp of dried dill
We will start off with preparations for the star of the dish; break or crumble your pecan nuts in nice chunky crumbs. Add the goat’s cheese to a small bowl and mix it together with the pecan crumbles. Divide your mix into 6 even portions.
(Tip: before we start on this step, make sure your hands are washed and dried properly, makes things less sticky!) Roll your goat’s cheese portions into balls, put them on a plate and set aside in the refrigerator for the time being.
Cut the sweet potato in small cubes. Grab a frying pan, put it over medium heat and add the vegetable oil. Make sure the oil is hot before you add the sweet potato cubes. Fry the cubes on all sides, let them become nice and crispy. When they are done, take them out of the pan and drain them off the leftover oil (you can do this by placing them on some paper kitchen towel) and let them cool off.
For the honey mustard dressing we will need a little bowl. Add the honey, mustard and dried dill and whisk very well until everything is combined. Taste to see if it is to your liking! If it is too sweet, add a little water and some salt and pepper.
Grab three big bowls or deep plates to start adding the coating ingredients for the cheese balls. Add flour to one, whisk the egg in the second one and add breadcrumbs to the last one. This is also the order in which you will coat your goat’s cheese balls.
Take out the refrigerated cheese balls and roll them through the flour and coat it properly, add it to the egg mixture and coat it in egg, then put it in the breadcrumbs and coat them with a nice layer of crispy goodness! (If needed, you can press them a little with your hands to make the coating stick better) Do this for all 6 portions.
Grab a small frying pan, big enough to fit the cheese balls and add a layer of oil, about 3 cm high (a little more than an inch) Heat up the oil over medium high heat and make sure the oil is hot before you start adding anything. Add your goat’s cheese balls and fry them on all sides, making them golden brown and crispy!
Add your chosen kind of salad to a nice deep plate or salad bowl, cut your radishes the way you like them and add the cooled off sweet potato croutons. Add a few spoons of honey mustard dressing and mix it with your salad so it’s lightly coated.
Add the fried goat’s cheese balls on top of your salad and drizzle with a teaspoon of honey.
(*) I actually never weigh any of my coating ingredients, because I want to make sure there is always enough once I start making these kind of coated foods. When I make these in big batches I have to replace the breadcrumbs or egg mix at some point because everything gets integrated into each other while coating. It's unavoidable, so better have enough, than to be without!