Recipe: Spring Greens Salad with Fried Cheese and Lemon Vinaigrette
4 ounces brie
5 ounces soft goat cheese
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
1 egg, lightly beaten
¾ cup panko crumbs (see Kitchen Notes*)
Oil for frying (see Kitchen Notes**)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small clove garlic, minced
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
12 cups ready-to-eat mixed spring or baby greens
1/3 cup torn basil leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Prepare fried cheese: Remove rind from brie. Combine with goat cheese in a food processor until smooth. (Or combine in a bowl, using a fork to blend.) Stir in basil. Using a teaspoon, form the cheese into 18 small balls.
2. Lightly beat the egg in a bowl. Spread panko crumbs on a plate. Working with a few at a time, dip the cheese balls into the egg, shaking off excess; roll in the crumbs until completely coated. When all of the cheese balls have been coated, refrigerate at least 1 hour, or cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. Prepare the dressing: In a small jar combine lemon zest and juice, mustard, garlic, olive oil and salt. Shake well to combine. If not using right away, refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving.
4. Prepare the salad: Up to 2 hours before serving, remove tougher stems from greens. Put greens into a bowl, tearing larger leaves in half. Cover with a paper towel and refrigerate.
5. Prepare fried cheese: Heat 2 inches of oil in a 3-quart pan until temperature reaches 350 degrees. Drop a few of the cheese balls at a time into the hot oil and fry about 18 seconds or just until the coating begins to turn golden. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining cheese.
6. Add basil to salad greens and toss with just enough dressing to coat the leaves. Divide among salad plates and top with fried cheese. Grind a little fresh black pepper over the top and serve.
Times Kitchen Notes:
* Panko are lightly seasoned Japanese crumbs that can be found in the Asian section of major supermarkets.
** Use a proportion of 2/3 canola oil to 1/3 olive oil for the frying oil in this recipe.
Adapted from "Everyday Pasta" by Giada De Laurentiis
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.