Salad with Pecan Encrusted Goat Cheese Balls and Raspberries

One of the first things I pinned on Pinterest was this salad from Family Fresh Cooking.  It unfortunately required having certain ingredients on hand, so it took me over a year to make it!  When the 4th of July rolled around, we were invited to a BBQ with Chris’s co-interns, and I immediately remembered the delicious looking salad with hand rolled goat cheese balls covered in pecans, and I knew it would be perfect to take.  I got a lot of compliments on the salad, and it was perfect for taking to a party.  You could easily add some grilled chicken and it would make a wonderful entree salad.  It’s hard to say whether people enjoyed the salad or my homemade raspberry and strawberry sorbets better, and it’s quite a feat when a salad holds its own against a dessert!

Salad with Pecan Encrusted Goat Cheese Balls and Raspberries

Ingredients (The ingredients for a salad are obviously very variable.  You can vary the proportions of toppings greatly and it can still work, so I’ll just give you a rough idea.)

  • Lettuce – I used the artisan lettuce mix from Costco, but it would also work well with Romaine or Spinach if you prefer (you’ve made salad before, so just estimate how much seems reasonable for the number of people you’re serving)
  • Goat Cheese (log) – I have found the Trader Joe’s has reasonably priced goat cheese, and it’s good to assume 1-2 ounces per person.  Warning: goat cheese balls will get taken from atop the bowl of salad because they’re just that good!
  • Roasted Pecans – I used a mix of candied pecans from Trader Joe’s and their raw pecans that I roasted on a cookie sheet for a few minutes.  Next time I’ll go all candied!
  • Raspberries
  • Vinaigrette of your choice – I used a strawberry vinaigrette because it’s what I had, but raspberry or balsamic would also work well

Directions

  1. Chop up pecans into small, breadcrumb-like, pieces.  Place the nuts in a shallow dish.  I recommend a covered container that you can just store the goat cheese balls in.
  2. Break off a small piece of goat cheese from the log, and roll it into a ball – roughly 3/4 of an inch is a good size.  Place the ball into your pecans and roll it around to coat the cheese.
  3. Top your lettuce with the yummy pecan encrusted goat cheese balls and raspberries just before serving.  Add dressing, and enjoy!  (I also sprinkled the remaining pecan pieces from my bowl on top.)

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I have yet to try another variation or the salad, but I imagine that blueberries would also pair well with the cheese and pecans.  These pecan encrusted goat cheese balls would also stand on their own as an appetizer with various fruit and crackers!  Can you think of any other salad combinations or uses for these mini cheese balls?

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