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Asparagus and Walnut Crusted Goat Cheese Salad


1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
6 oz. bag baby spinach leaves
8 large strawberries, cut into quarters
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
8 oz. log goat cheese placed in freezer for 10 minutes
½ cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
Dressing:
Juice and zest of 2 oranges
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
½ cup olive oil


For salad: Trim asparagus spears and blanch for 3 minutes in salted water to which a little olive oil has been added, drain; cool. Place spinach leaves in large serving bowl. Top the spinach with asparagus spears, strawberries, peas, and red onion.

For Goat Cheese Rounds: Cut the goat cheese log into 8 rounds. Dip each round into flour, coated both sides, then in beaten eggs, then in walnuts which have been mixed with cinnamon. Heat oil in medium skillet or saucepan until a drop of water sizzles when added, and then fry the goat cheese, 2 at a time, for 1 minute per side, until golden. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.

For Dressing: Whisk all ingredients together in small bowl. Can be made several days ahead. Place the goat cheese rounds on the salad, drizzle with dressing, and serve at once. Serves 4.

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