Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. Thanks for supporting brands and companies that help keep my kitchen afloat. All opinions are my own.
It’s still August. For a whole week in fact.
It’s not October. And it most certainly is not December.
Although you wouldn’t know that if you’ve gone shopping lately, browsed Pinterest or turned on your television. Holiday stuff is creeping in at a disturbingly fast pace.
But me? I’m holding onto summer a little bit longer. I’m still drinking fruity cocktails, hanging out in my bathing suit and taking long evening walks to soak in every last ounce of daylight. And here on Floating Kitchen, we’re going to be finishing out the season in style as well. I’ve got recipes for fresh berries, frozen treats and this stunning Almond-Crusted Goat Cheese, Peach and Fig Salad. No pumpkin or peppermint in sight. That’s a promise.
This salad just screams summer (which consequently, is exactly what I wanted to do when I saw Halloween candy in the grocery store last week). Loaded with sun-ripened peaches, fresh figs, garden herbs and crisp greens, it reminds me of everything that is good about August.
And of course, there is goat cheese. Because how could there not be goat cheese.
Almond-crusted goat cheese is one of my all-time favorite salad toppers. And I just discovered a way to make it even better by using Salted Caramel Blue Diamond Almonds in the coating mixture. The salty-sweet combo is absolutely KILLER when combined with warm, creamy goat cheese. It’s like a little party for your taste buds. And in this particular case, it was a party for my taste buds and my taste buds ONLY. Because I didn’t share. I ate all four servings by myself (um…not in one sitting, so don’t judge me). And you won’t want to share either. Because this salad is as delicious to eat as it is gorgeous to look at.
Almond-Crusted Goat Cheese, Peach and Fig Salad
- For the Goat Cheese
- 1/3 cup Salted Caramel Blue Diamond Almonds
- 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 8 ounces goat cheese (log style, not crumbles)
- 1 egg, beaten
- About 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- For the Dressing
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- For the Salad
- 8 cups mixed greens
- 1 tablespoon mint leaves, torn
- 1 tablespoon basil leaves, torn
- 8 fresh figs, halved
- 2 peaches, halved, pitted and sliced
- 1/4 cup Salted Caramel Blue Diamond Almonds
- Make the crusted goat cheese. In the bowl of your food processor with the blade attachment, process the almonds until they are finely chopped. Add the panko bread crumbs, salt and pepper and pulse to combine. Transfer the mixture to a shallow bowl or plate. Slice the goat cheese into eight equal sized pieces. Then using your hands, form each of the goat cheese pieces into a disk. The goat cheese may crumble some at first, but as it warms in your hands it will become easier to mold. Dip each goat cheese round into the beaten egg and then into the almond/panko mixture, being sure to coat all sides. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and warm the olive oil. Add the coated goat cheese rounds and cook for about 1-2 minutes. Then gently flip them using a spatula and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. The coating should be golden brown and the goat cheese should be warm and starting to soften, but still hold it’s shape. Carefully remove the goat cheese rounds from the skillet and transfer them to a paper towel-line plate.
- Make the dressing. Whisk all of the ingredients together and set aside.
- Assemble the salads. In a large bowl toss the mixed greens and herbs with the dressing. Divide evenly between 4 plates or bowls. Then top each salad with two of the crusted goat cheese rounds, 4 fig halves, 1/2 sliced peach and 1 tablespoon almonds. Serve immediately.