Happy 1st day of fall!! The non-official first day is always September 1st in my book but it’s nice to finally be on the same page with mother nature, sort of. We have had a wicked hot week but the weather cooled beautifully last night and today is simply gorgeous. The breeze and the air is nice and cool but the sun is still warm in a non-suffocating way. As I write this, I’m sitting outside on my back patio with my feet up and my computer on my lap soaking up these last rays for what will hopefully become a late season tan. My main focus the last two weeks has been planning my fall trip next month to the northeast and writing has taken a backseat unfortunately. However, I’m very excited to get back to it starting with a two-part recipe! I’ve never done one of these before but it happened naturally as I was writing recipes for the next few weeks. The Roasted Beet & Fried Goat Cheese Salad featured today using farmers market ingredients needed a main entree to go alongside it and nothing sounded more delightful than a Maple Roasted Pork Tenderloin. Instead of bundling these two recipes together, especially because the salad has a few steps to it, I decided to split them and use the pork in Monday’s Sunday Supper Series to close it out.
These recipes were meant to be together. The flavors complement each other so well and the pork cooks and rests in the time it requires to prep the salad. Make sure you come back on Monday for the pork recipe! Let’s get to today’s now, shall we? The farmers market is full of beets, greens, root veggies and early fall squash. It’s my favorite time of year for the produce. Most of my favorite flavors come from this time of year. It’s also coming to the season of comfort food. Meals that feed the soul as much as they feed the belly. Today’s recipe isn’t yet comfort food but it’s not a light summer salad either. It’s a great bridge from summer to fall merging the flavors of both seasons. It’s hearty enough for cool nights but light enough for warm days. It takes a few steps to bring together but it’s simple and worth the effort.
Start by getting the elements that take the longest to cook out of the way. Get the farro boiling on the stove and the vegetables roasting in the oven. These will both take 15-20 minutes. While those are cooking, get the kale marinating in the dressing. By allowing the kale to soak, you’ll release some of the bitterness and rawness of the leaves. That’s ultimately what people don’t like about the leafy green so it helps make this dish friendly for everyone. The leaves will soften even more once mixed with the hot farro and veggies so it gets even better. With all those main parts out of the way, fry the goat cheese. The cheese can be a little crumbly and temperamental so be patient. Use a thin, sharp knife to slice the cheese. Using your fingers or a pair of tongs, dip the cheese in the egg followed by breadcrumbs. Be generous with the breadcrumbs because you want a nice, crispy crust on that cheese. Place the medallions in the hot oil and leave them be for about 4-5 minutes before flipping and leaving them fry 4-5 minutes longer. Place them on a paper towel lined plate to cool until you’re ready to top the salad.
The fried goat cheese isn’t necessary for this salad but it certainly adds a nice touch. It acts as the crouton but with so much more flavor and texture. You could use other cheese as well like mozzarella or parmesan. Maybe even halloumi if you can find it but I love the tang of goat cheese. It pairs nicely with the sweeter flavors of fall, especially maple which is very present in this meal. Once the vegetables are roasted and the farro is cooked, toss with the kale before topping with the fried cheese. I find the dressing used to marinate the kale to be just enough for this salad but you can easily double the vinaigrette to have a little extra should anyone want more. This pairs so beautifully with the Maple Roasted Pork Tenderloin so if you love this recipe, make sure you come back on Monday. You won’t regret it. Happy Fall!
Roasted Beet & Fried Goat Cheese Salad
1 cup Farro, cooked
4 medium Beets, cut into wedges
4-6 Carrots, sliced thick on a bias
2 tbsp. Olive Oil + ¼ cup for the dressing
½ tsp. Dijon Mustard
2 tbsp. Balsamic
1 tsp. Maple Syrup
1 bunch Kale, roughly chopped
½ cup Breadcrumbs
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
4.5 oz. Goat Cheese, sliced into ½ inch thick medallions
Vegetable Oil, for frying
Salt & Pepper
1 - Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cook the farro according to package directions. While the farro cooks, toss the beets and carrots with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Spread onto a baking sheet and roast 15-20 minutes until fork tender.
2 - Meanwhile, whisk together the ¼ cup of olive oil, dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Drizzle all over the kale, toss and let sit.
3 - Fry the goat cheese. In one bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs and garlic powder. In another bowl, whisk the egg. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge each cheese medallion in the egg followed by a hearty coat of breadcrumbs. Gently place in the hot oil and fry 4-5 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy. Place on a paper towel until ready to serve.
4 - Once the farro is cooked and the vegetables have finished roasting, add to the kale and toss together. The kale will soften just a bit allowing for a much more tender texture. Top the salad with the fried goat cheese and serve.