Beets + Greens Salad with Crispy Goat Cheese + Orange Vinaigrette

Sometimes, you just have to listen to your cravings.

Especially when they are reasonably healthy ones.

Because then you not only get something delicious, but you might get something that doesn’t bust your calorie budget, too!

This is a recipe I’ve been making ever since I was expecting with Marcus.

I’d had a massive craving for Mandarin oranges for some reason, so I always had a jar of them to snack on. And then I started massively craving beets.

Because cravings.

Somehow, I figured out that they go really well together, especially when combined with spinach, drizzled with a homemade orange vinaigrette that I’m absolutely in love with, and combined with a few tasty pieces of Panko-coated crispy goat cheese!

I’ve been trying to incorporate more salads into our meal plan lately.

After a long winter full of meat and potatoes and stews and heavy sauces, and with the almost-spring weather settling in {okay, this might just be wishful thinking at this point, but still}, our bodies have been craving the freshness and lightness that salads bring with them.

And this has turned out to be a delightful one to have in the rotation.

It’s been nice seeing fresh local spring produce coming back into the stores, and having a really good selection of greens.

It’s hard to find decent greens during the winter months, so we’ve cut back on salads in favor of incorporating more winter veggies into our dishes. And as good as those have been, this spinach was just amazing.

Here’s how you can make your own.

Beets + Greens Salad with Crispy Goat Cheese + Orange Vinaigrette

Serves 2.

What You’ll Need:

For the salad:

  • 2 large beets, roasted and diced
  • 8 oz fresh goat cheese
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup Mandarin oranges, drained
  • 2 medium eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup vegetable oil

For the vinaigrette:

  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

How to Make It:

1. Start by slicing the goat cheese into small rounds until you have about 10 pieces. Form them into rounds and press in any stray bits with your fingers. Set the rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place into the freezer for 15-20 minutes.

2. While the goat cheese is freezing, make the vinaigrette by placing the orange juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper in a small container or salsa jar, sealing it, and shaking vigorously. Shake it up again when you’re ready to use it to make sure everything stays combined.

3. Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, pour out the Panko crumbs and stir in salt and pepper with your fingers to season. Go as light or as heavy with the seasoning as you prefer.

As a note, we’re watching our salt these days, so most of the time, I just use a little black pepper.

4. Take the goat cheese out of the freezer. Pour the vegetable oil in a skillet until it has covered the bottom to about 1/4 inch deep. Bring the oil to a simmer. Dip the goat cheese rounds in the egg, roll in the panko, and then drop into the skillet to fry lightly. Cook the rounds 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side, or until they are golden brown. Then set them aside to drain on parchment paper.

5. Toss the spinach lightly with a couple tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Plate the greens. Top with beets, Mandarin orange slices, and several goat cheese rounds. Drizzle lightly with a little more vinaigrette and serve. These salads are delicious when the cheese is still warm!

This is delicious on its own, but I do enjoy it paired with a chilled white wine, like a petit viognier.

How about you guys? What spring produce are you most looking forward to?

4 thoughts on “Beets + Greens Salad with Crispy Goat Cheese + Orange Vinaigrette

  1. It looks so great! 😋 Time for lunch 🥗 😋 I love veggies and living in Singapore where is always hot, I eat salads every day 😊😋 Really delicious 😋

    1. I’m SOOO envious of your weather right now – and of the amazing food scene in Singapore! What kind of salads are you enjoying?

    2. I try to vary but in general I like to have green leaves, peppers, carrots, celery, cucumbers, beetroot, tomatoes…everything 😊 Is nice to have always summer but sometimes is too hot 😊

    3. It all sounds delicious! I agree with it being nice to have all the summer but sometimes needing to escape the heat – I lived in Hawaii for a long time, and while it didn’t get as hot as Singapore, sometimes there was no wind in the summer and the heat would get awful!

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