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Favorite Salad at Favorite Restaurant
Here’s introducing you to my favorite restaurant salad! Are you ready? Warm goat cheese and spiced pecan salad with blackberry vinaigrette is inspired by a similar salad at my all-time favorite restaurant, Arties, in Fairfax, Virginia.
We both love Artie’s and can’t go to the Washington, D.C. area with out a stop for lunch or dinner.We’ve made just a couple of changes to this salad. We exchanged fresh blackberries for dried cranberries and blackberry vinaigrette for the house champagne vinaigrette. The signature medallions of breaded fried goat cheese are the same. As well as the pecans spiced with black pepper and cayenne, then roasted with brown sugar.
The flavors in this dish are other worldly–sweet, peppery, tangy, savory! And the textures from crunchy to soft and creamy, to crisp and fresh. In addition, it’s a pretty salad–bright colors and contrasts.
How do you make goat cheese medallions?
Goat cheese medallions are the showstopper in this salad. They’re really so easy. We like to use a 10-12 ounce log of creamy goat cheese available at most supermarkets.
1. How to cut goat cheese
Cut goat cheese into 1/4 – ½ inch medallions (about 1 ounce each). To cut easily, use dental floss. This is the same method used for cutting cinnamon rolls: place floss under log, then pull floss up each side and cross strands over top of log, and pull. The goat cheese slices easily and keeps its shape.
2. Dip cheese in egg whites
Gently dip goat cheese medallion into beaten egg whites. Shake off excess egg and place in bowl of panko bread crumbs to coat. The egg whites will help the bread crumbs adhere to the cheese.
3. Fry the goat cheese
Melt 2 Tablespoons butter in medium frying pan on medium heat. Fry crumb covered medallions on each side just until crisp (about 1 minute per side.) You’ll want to serve these quickly while cheese is still warm.
We’ve all had sugared or candied pecans. They’re delicious. The roasted pecans in this salad go a step farther by adding black pepper and cayenne to brown sugar, then toasting the pecans at 400 degrees in your oven. It’s really fast, and the pepper with the sugar is so tasty!
The last and loveliest part of our salad is the dressing.
How to make blackberry vinaigrette
The dressing is simple. Ingredients are tossed in a blender, and blended until smooth. Blackberry vinaigrette tastes a little like a poppy seed dressing. We don’t worry about the blackberry seeds — they tell us this dressing is fresh! And don’t you love the color?
Now you’ve got it. All the secrets to make my favorite restaurant salad! Let us know if you try it and how you like it.
We think you’ll love these other delicious salad recipes:
- Fuji Apple Salad and Vinaigrette
- Sensation Salad
- Cherry Salad with Gorgonzola and Toasted Almonds
- Palm Heart Salad & Tarragon Dijon Vinaigrette
- Pear Salad w/ Pomegranate, Toasted Almonds & Bleu Cheese
- Country French Salad
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- 12 cups Spring Mix
- 2 cups fresh blackberries
- 1 cup dates; sliced
- 12 goat cheese medallions (see recipe)
- 1 cup spicy sugared pecans (see recipe)
- 1 cup blackberry vinaigrette (see recipe)
For Goat Cheese Medallions
- 12 ounce log goat cheese
- 2 egg whites; beaten
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
For Spicy Sugared Pecans
- 1 cup pecan halves
- ½ cup brown sugar; packed
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
For Blackberry Vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blackberries
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 Tablespoon fresh red onion, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
TO ASSEMBLE SALAD
1. Toss spring mix with 2/3 cup blackberry vinaigrette.
2. On each individual salad plate place:
2 cups spring mix
2 goat cheese medallions (place near center)
Approx. 6 fresh blackberries
1 Tablespoon sliced dates
1 heaping Tablespoon spicy sugared pecans
3. Add another drizzle of vinaigrette if needed.
For Goat Cheese Medallions
1. Cut goat cheese into ½ inch medallions (1 ounce each). Easiest to use dental floss to cut: place floss under log, then pull floss up each side and cross strands over top of log, and pull. This will easily cut the goat cheese without pressing down on it like a knife would.
2. Gently dip goat cheese medallion into beaten egg whites. Shake off excess egg and place in bowl of panko bread crumbs to coat.
3. Melt 2 Tablespoons butter in medium frying pan on medium heat. Fry crumb covered medallions on each side just until crisp (about 1 minute per side.)
4. Place on paper towel covered plate to absorb any excess grease. Serve quickly while cheese is still warm.
For Spicy Sugared Pecans
1. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. You can leave them in halves, or chop pecan halves lightly if desired.
3. Place pecan halves in metal baking pan and sprinkle with brown sugar and pepper.
4. Place pan in oven and toast pecans just until sugar melts (about 5 minutes). Stir once during baking. Watch carefully so sugar doesn’t burn.
5. Pour onto aluminum foil sprayed lightly with Pam spray to cool.
!For Blackberry Vinaigrette
1. Rinse blackberries; measure and place in blender.
2. Chop red onion, measure.
3. Measure all other ingredients and add to blender.
4. Blend until smooth.
5. Place in tightly sealed container and refrigerate until ready to use.
Dressing will stay fresh in refrigerator one week.
Shake before serving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 469Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 554mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 6gSugar: 24gProtein: 16g
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