Spring Greens with Candied Meyer Lemons and Spicy Fried Goat Cheese.
You guys. I’ve hit a new low. I mean high. Maybe both.
Candy on a salad!
Well, sort of.
I have gone nutso over candied citrus since my cousin Lacy and I first made these candied citrus peels for the holidays a few years ago. I am telling you… it’s like once you pop, you just can’t stop. That stuff is addictive. And meyer lemon season is one of my favorite seasons – even though I can only find these babies for like 23 seconds every year – because CANDIED meyer lemon is to die for. It’s totally worth it. I might like it more than grapefruit. Maybe.
And don’t be freaked out about eating whole slices!
I mean, if you really want to freak out. Last year I put them ON A PIZZA.
You can do it. I promise.
This is my early year version of this autumn arugula salad, but with spring things. Obviously.
Since I barely know what a salad is without cheese, I pan fried a little goat cheese – goat cheese that is crusted in breadcrumbs and crushed hot pepper flakes. Crushed. I love the word crushed.
Crispy goat cheese was one of the first things I put on a salad that made it on to this blog way back in the day. Ohhhh the embarrassment. In this recipe, it’s tangy with a little heat. The perfect compliment to the sticky and sweet lemon rounds.
This whole shebang is also one of those salads that doesn’t seem super filling but surprisingly is. It’s tossed in a honey, champagne and ginger vinaigrette which is my new favorite five second dressing. Of course. All good things come with a slice of bread though, so you should probably do that.
Oh and let’s talk about how I was so thrilled to share this springlike salad with you and then it started snowing. And icing. And being all 19 degrees below zero today and what not. Perhaps I should just cook a big fat Thanksgiving dinner and I’ll be rewarded with summer?
- 2 meyer lemons, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds (I prefer organic when eating the rind)
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 (8-ounce) goat cheese log, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 8 cups spring greens
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
- 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 garlic clove, freshly grated
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Carefully remove any large seed from the lemon slices. Add the water and sugar to a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, whisking until the sugar dissolves. Once boiling, add the lemon slices and reduce the heat to medium low or just until it’s simmering. Cover the pan with a piece of parchment paper and simmer until the lemon peels are translucent, about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the slices to cool completely in the syrup. Once cooled, transfer them to a wire rack and allow to dry completely. You can save the syrup and store it in the fridge.
- In a bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, garlic powder and pepper flakes. To make the goat cheese, heat a skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Dip each goat cheese slice in the beaten egg then into the breadcrumb mixture, pressing gently to adhere. Place the goat cheese in the hot oil and cook until golden on both sides but not melted, about 1 minute per side. Carefully remove and set aside.
- Assemble the salad by tossing the greens with some dressing. Add in the tomatoes and walnuts, tossing once more. Place the candied lemon slices and goat cheese on top. Serve with extra dressing if desired.
- Combine vinegar, honey, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl and whisk together. Stream in the olive oil while constantly whisking until the dressing comes together. Store in the fridge for up to one week.
Um. That cheese. hello.