So, with little fanfare...this salad is amazing. Those fritters are crazy good. The original recipe called for one fritter per salad. No way. I can't do it. So go, make this salad now. It's the perfect time of year for asparagus and goat cheese.
I'll see you later this week with some fun non-green, yet still very much St. Patrick's Day treats. Happy Monday!
Asparagus, Spinach, and Red Pepper Salad topped with Goat Cheese Fritters
At the Kitchen Table (fritters)
For the goat cheese fritters
4 ounces soft, white goat cheese, cut into 6 equal rounds
¼ cup flour
1 egg, lightly beaten with a tablespoon of water
¼ cup panko
¼ cup pecans, finely chopped
For the salad
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1- by 1/4-inch strips
1 pound asparagus, trimmed of tough ends and cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and ground black pepper
1 medium shallot, sliced thin (I couldn't find a shallot, so I used about 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1 medium garlic clove, minced
6 ounces baby spinach
To make the goat cheese fritters, line up three soup bowls. Put the flour in one, beat the eggs with the water in the second, and put the breadcrumbs and pecans in the third bowl. Roll each piece of cheese in flour, shaking off the excess. Dip each flour-coated round of cheese into the egg mixture, then roll it in the panko and pecans to coat. The fritters may be prepared ahead up to this point and refrigerated for several hours or overnight.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until beginning to smoke; add red pepper and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add asparagus, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; cook until asparagus is browned and almost tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in shallot (or red onion) and cook until softened and asparagus is tender-crisp, about 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Transfer to large plate and cool 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk remaining 4 tablespoons oil, vinegar, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl until combined. In large bowl, toss spinach with 2 tablespoons dressing and divide among 2-3 salad plates. Toss asparagus mixture with remaining dressing and place a portion over spinach.
When it's time to serve the salad, heat about ½ inch of canola oil in a small sauté pan and fry the breaded cheese rounds until they are golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side.Remove from pan and place on a paper towel to soak up the extra frying oil. Top each salad with two (or three) fritters and serve immediately.