When making purchases of any kind, I divide items into two categories: Want vs. Need. For example: I want to get more exercise, but I need more sleep. Or perhaps: I want Steak Béarnaise for dinner, but I need that jadeite green balloon hem dress from Dame.
After a few weeks of desperately, feverishly wanting to quit my job and fighting the urge to actually do so, I needed a vacation.
We went to Lake Arrowhead, (because taking a speedboat to the supermarket is way more fun than driving) with plans to do little more than watch movies and lounge about.
Because my favorite leisure activity is eating, obviously food was a high priority. The original plan was to duel it out Iron Chef-style. However, common sense kicked in and we realized that as hungry as we were, we really couldn’t eat as much food as we thought we could. Appetizer vs. Entrée isn’t very exciting, but neither is obesity. Adapted from Ina Garten’s Salad with Warm Goat Cheese, this starter really is delicious, fast and super-easy.
Pan-Fried Goat Cheese and Roasted Vegetable Salad
1 large red onion, chopped into chunks
3 carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
2 bell peppers, any color, chopped into chunks
2 yellow squash, chopped into chunks
2 teaspoon dried rosemary
4 oz. herbed goat cheese, sliced into ¾” pieces
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
mixed salad greens
salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the chopped vegetables in a gallon-sized re-sealable plastic bag and sprinkle with salt, pepper, dried rosemary and approximately ½ cup of olive oil. Close the bag and shake until covered. Empty the bag of vegetables onto a baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven until the edges are browned and the inside is tender, around 45 minutes.
After the vegetables have been roasting for about 35 minutes, start on the goat cheese. Take one slice of goat cheese, and drop it in the beaten egg, making sure it’s well-coated. Put the fresh bread crumbs in a plate and add salt and pepper to taste. Take the cheese slice from the egg and drop it in the bread crumbs. Repeat with all of the remaining cheese slices.
In a medium size non-stick pan, heat a teaspoon of butter and approximately a tablespoon of olive oil. Once the butter is melted and bubbling, add a cheese slice to the pan (it should sizzle). Add the remaining cheese slices, being careful not to crowd the pan. You may need to do this in two batches, depending on the size of your pan. Fry the cheese until golden brown, roughly 3 minutes on each side.
To assemble the salad, place the mixed greens on a plate and top with the roasted vegetables. Place the goat cheese on top and drizzle with a little lemon juice and olive oil, or your favorite vinaigrette. Add cracked black pepper to taste, and enjoy.