Saturday, January 14, 2012

Spinach salad with grilled portobellos and fried goat cheese

 I rarely crave salads in the winter because I prefer something warm and comforting. But this salad is an exception because it has so many delicious components that make it filling and satisfying.

I first ate a version of this salad out with my dear friend Julie and decided that I could make it better. And then it became an obsession. Julie and I would work on our community garden plot and then come over for this salad: fresh baby spinach, grilled portobellos, oily sweet sundried tomatoes, and the star of the show, the fried goat cheese in a balsamic dressing. Even my mother became obsessed with it, and to this day, it's her favorite salad. And Julie still talks about it, almost seven years later. So this one's for you Julie!

Spinach, Portobello and Goat Cheese Salad
Serves 2

3 - 4 cups baby spinach, washed and dried
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped
2 large portobello mushroom caps, gilled and sliced one inch thick
1 tbs olive oil
3 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1/8 tsp herbs de provence or thyme
1/8 tsp red chili flakes
a handful of sourdough croutons
113 g (4 oz) fresh goat's cheese
2 tbs all purpose flour
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
4 tbs (or more) canola oil for frying
salt and pepper to taste

5 tbs balsamic vinegar
4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper

1. Marinate the mushrooms: In a large bowl, grate in the garlic, add the 3 tbs balsamic vinegar and 1 tbs olive oil, salt and pepper, chili flakes and herb de provence. Mix to coat the sliced mushrooms. Allow to sit for 15 minutes. Preheat a grill pan with 2 tbs canola oil. Cook the mushroom strips on medium high heat until slightly charred and tender on both sides. (Reserve the remaining marinade for the dressing.)

2. Prepare the fried goat cheese: Preheat a pan with 2 tbs canola oil. Slice the goat cheese into 4 clean pieces (I used unwaxed dental floss to get a clean cut and work with cold goat cheese). Arrange a separate plate with breadcrumbs, another plate for the flour, and a bowl for the beaten egg.  Dip the goat cheese in flour, dust off excess, and dip in egg, drip off excess, and coat in bread crumbs. Fry until golden on both sides. Drain on paper towel.

3. In a large bowl, make the salad dressing: mix the balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, dijon mustard and salt and pepper. (If there is additional marinade left from the mushrooms, add that now as well.) Add the sundried tomatoes, spinach, croutons, mushrooms and toss until combined. Top off with the fried goat cheese.



  1. Remember when you used to make this salad every single day for at least 3 months straight? It is delicious !

  2. Oooh looking good Divya! I'm craving salad NOW! :D



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