Guest post by my dear friend Lauri. She is an amazing friend and an excellent cook.
Hi there! My name is Lauri. Mita & I have been friends since day 1 of medical school, and it still amazes me to think about how far we’ve both come since then. One of the many blessings of being a 4th year med student is the abundance of free time that comes with being (almost) done. Soooo I’ve been getting back in the kitchen lately, and LOVING it! Confession: sometimes I pretend I’m Ina Garten and narrate what I’m doing in the kitchen, because in my fantasy life I’m a Food Network Star. As Ina says, “How fabulous is that??” I want to share this recipe with you guys, because it’s long been a staple for when I want something healthy, delicious, and easy.
PLUS: if you want to get your guy/gal/veggie-averse partner to eat green stuff, this really works. My boyfriend (now fiancee – …yep, still sounds weird) told me he hated kale, but voluntarily reached for seconds of this salad. And then I caught him eating the leftovers the next day.
Which brings me to my next point. This salad is great to make in large quantities and take for lunch all week. Because it consists of hardier greens, it doesn’t get limp and wilted like many salads do.
OK. Enough chit-chat, let’s get to the FOOD. One side note is that I eyeball all ingredients (which is why I’m a much better cook than a baker). So feel free to adjust quantities to your liking.
Kale & Brussel Sprout Salad with Fried Goat Cheese Rounds
1 large bunch of kale
1 package of shredded brussels sprouts (about 20 sprouts if you buy them intact)
1 large shallot (or 1/2 red onion)
1 bunch of scallions
1 clove of garlic
2 tbsps dijion mustard
1 package quinoa
1 log of goat cheese
0.5-1 cup of breadcrumbs
3-4 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1. Wash and de-stem the kale. Tear or chop it into bite-sized pieces. Place in a large bowl. Add the shredded brussels sprouts, and the shallot or onion, finely sliced.
2. To the bowl with the greens, add the juice of 1 lemon, 1 tbsp olive oil, and salt and pepper. Massage those greens. Really scrunch them with your hands for several minutes. You want to break down the collagen in the kale and sprouts, so that they aren’t so raw and crunchy.
3. Cook the quinoa according to package directions. You can use salted water, or vegetable broth.
4. Make the dressing. In a small bowl, mix the juice of one lemon, 2 tbsps dijion mustard, 1 clove garlic (minced or grated), 1-2 tbsps olive oil, salt, pepper, and 2-3 tbsps water. Whisk together. If it’s very liquid-y, that’s ok. Taste and adjust the flavors as you like.
5. Cut the goat cheese into 3/4″ thick rounds. Dip the rounds first into a small bowl with 1 egg, beaten. Then dip into bowl with breadcrumbs. Place aside, and do the same with all goat cheese rounds.
6. In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter over med-high heat. Place the breaded goat cheese rounds in the pan, and cook for 2 mins on either side, until they’re nicely browned. Place aside on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.
7. Assemble salad. Mix in ~1 cup of the cooked quinoa, and toss with the dressing. Place the salad on a plate, and top with 3 (or more) rounds of goat cheese, and chopped scallions. You can also add some freshly grated parmesan cheese (because who doesn’t love more cheese??).
RANDOM TIPS that I’ve devised after several iterations of making this salad:
– for slicing the goat cheese: it helps to place the log in the freezer for a few minutes prior, and you can use a piece of dental floss to get clean discs. Otherwise, the cheese tends to crumble when you cut it using a knife.
– always taste the dressing before you pour it over the salad, and add either water or olive oil if it’s too tart, or sometimes more mustard if you like that flavor.
– you can prep the goat cheese rounds ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready for them
– you can double the dressing and keep it in the fridge to drizzle over leftovers.