Bistro Salad with Fried Goat Cheese, Grapes & Hazelnuts

Homemade Goat Cheese, just removed from press

Homemade Goat Cheese, just removed from press

By Cat, Sept 2014 (Photo right: cheese by S. Riedesel, photo by Cat)

See also: 1. Winter Greens Salad: Endive and Apple Salad with Warm Goat Cheese; 2. Salads Menu

I’m always on the lookout for a good salad that includes cheese and other interesting ingredients. I have several friends who make goat cheese from their goat milk, so have a source of excellent cheese. I’m also falling in love with grapes, something I always thought I should avoid because of my insulin resistance, but now know they actually help with reducing the impact of that disorder. Lastly, I don’t have many recipes for hazelnuts, so am glad for this. However, if hazelnuts are not available, I think pecans or walnuts would also be good with this combination.

It might be hard to find local arugula in the cold seasons, but radicchio, like cabbage is a cool-season vegetable. 

Bistro Salad with Fried Goat Cheese, Grapes & Hazelnuts

This salad is adapted from a recipe on Fine (1).

The original recipe calls for toasted, skinned hazelnuts, but I prefer to soak nuts overnight before toasting, to maximize their nutritional value. I usually soak a larger batch (so I can use them over time), then dry them in the oven on lowest setting, or toast them in a dry cast iron skillet.When cooled, I transfer them to a mason jar and store in a cool place or my fridge. See Soaking Nuts & Seeds and Toasting Nuts & Seeds for details. See also Crispy Pine Nuts, as this method applies to all nuts.

The original serves 4, but I’ve adapted this to serve 2.

Ingredients, Equipment & Method:

Fried goat cheese

  • 4 oz. fresh goat cheese
  • ½  cup plain panko
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ tsp. dry mustard (or freshly ground from mustard seeds)
  • Unrefined sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small egg, or ½ larger egg
  • ½ cup coconut oil or lard
  • 2 small bowls
  • plate
  • cast iron or other heavy-bottomed skillet
  • paper towel
  1. Slice goat cheese into two 2-oz discs, then shape into 2 ½” cakes. Freeze in single layer until firm, 10 – 15 minutes.
  2. Combine breading ingredients: panko, parsley, dry mustard, salt and pepper in small bowl; combine egg with ½ Tbsp filtered water in another small bowl.
  3. Dip cheese into egg mixture, then breading and set each aside.
  4. Heat the oil/lard in a heavy-bottomed skillet until shimmering hot.
  5. Add breaded goat cheese cakes and fry in the hot fat, on both sides, until golden brown, 3 – 4 minutes total. Remove to a plate lined with paper towel.


  • Soaked and Toasted, skinned hazelnuts, enough to make 2 Tbsp chopped
  • ¼ small head radicchio, cored and thinly sliced (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 1 ½ oz. baby arugula (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 6 oz. seedless red grapes, halved (about 1 cup)
  1. If you are in a pinch for time, you can use hazelnuts that have not been soaked, but I highly recommend soaking and toasting them yourself to maximize the nutritional value.
  2. Just before serving: wash  & rinse the arugula, then pat dry with towels. Cut grapes in half to make 1 cup.


  • 1 Tbs. sherry vinegar
  • ½ – 1 tsp. pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp roasted hazelnut or walnut oil, or extra-virgin olive oil
  • small bowl with sides
  • whisk or immersion blender (hand-held stick blender)
  1. Place vinegar, maple syrup, ¼ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper in a small bowl or blender and whisk to combine.
  2. Slowly add the nut or olive oil, whisking or blending constantly until emulsified.


  1. Toss radicchio, arugula, and grapes in a large bowl with enough dressing to lightly coat.
  2. Divide the salad among 4 plates, top each with a goat cheese cake, sprinkle with the hazelnuts, and drizzle with more of the dressing.


  1. Fine Cooking recipe:


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