Baby Greens Salad with Roasted Figs, Bacon, and Warm Goat Cheese

September 10, 2009 · 24 comments

in goat cheese,salads

Oh! It has pine nuts and balsamic, too, but the title was already verging on a little longish, don’t you think?

The lovely people at Ile de France were nice enough to send me another sample of cheese, as they’ve done before.  Their cheese really are delicious, and I would definitely recommend trying them if you haven’t already. The  goat cheese is especially great because as you are prepping dinner, you can eat all the crumbs that fall off the log and/or get stuck to your fingers. And everyone knows that, even if you accidentally eat half the log, calories don’t count when you’re prepping dinner.

I had the idea to make a goat cheese-bacon salad earlier in the week but then I thought it sounded kind of boring.  At that point, I was instead going to crust the goat cheese in cornmeal, make a poblano dressing, and add some pepitas (which I’m sure I’ll still do at some point…). But, the day I was actually going to eat the salad, my mind started wandering to thoughts of bacon, as it often does.  I mean, really, how could I ever think of bacon and goat cheese, in any shape or form, as boring?

I decided the fate of the salad would rest on whether or not my husband found fresh figs at the market after work. If not, it was back to the southwesterny salad. I crossed all appendages, and I think it worked, because he came home with a small crate of figs.

This salad was so good. I certainly don’t claim to be the first to combine goat cheese and figs, or bacon and greens, but, dammit if I’m not awesome for combining all of those things plus toasty pine nuts into one great salad. Salty bacon, warm cheese, slightly sweet figs, crunchy pine nuts. How can you go wrong, really?

Baby Greens Salad with Roasted Figs, Bacon, and Warm Goat Cheese

Serves 4 as a first course/hefty side
print Printer Friendly Recipe

4 ounce goat cheese log
1 egg white
1/3 cup bread crumbs
olive oil (optional)
8 black mission figs, stemmed and cut in half
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar + extra for drizzling
4 slices thick-cut bacon
2 Tbsp. pine nuts, toasted
8 cups baby greens
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Season the bread crumbs with a few grinds of pepper. Slice the goat cheese into 8, 1/2 oz. slices. Dip each slice into the egg white, and then into the breadcrumbs, lightly patting to make sure the crumbs adhere all around. Refrigerate or freeze for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, roast the figs. Preheat the oven to 400. Lay the figs cut side up on a baking sheet/pan and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 6 minutes or until soft and slightly caramelized.  Reserve any additional balsamic/drippings. You can bake the goat cheese medallions at the same time, if you want, or pan-fry them in a little olive oil, at about the same time you are making the bacon.

Cook the bacon in a clean, dry skillet (you might as well use this pan for toasting the pine nuts, before you cook the bacon). Remove the bacon to some paper towels to drain, leaving behind the fat (drain some if it’s more than 2 Tbsp.).  Crumble the bacon.

Off the heat, but while the pan is still hot, add 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar and any drippings from the fig pan. Scrape up anything that may be left on the pan.

Plate your greens, top with the figs, hot goat cheese medallions, crumbled bacon, and pine nuts. Drizzle with the balsamic/bacon dressing.

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

emily227 September 10, 2009 at 10:43 pm

YUM! I am a big fan of anything that includes “warm goat cheese.” Delicious.

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Ivy September 11, 2009 at 12:15 am

Mmmmm sounds great especially with the cheese and bacon.

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Joelen September 11, 2009 at 1:15 am

I think the best way to have goat cheese in any salad is to bread it and lightly fry – heaven! Your salad captures such great flavors together… great job!

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Cate September 11, 2009 at 1:17 am

I love everything about this salad…it sounds like a perfect combination!

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chocolate shavings September 11, 2009 at 8:10 am

That sounds like a wonderful salad!

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nina September 11, 2009 at 8:42 am

I have made a salad with these ingredients, but you are a genius for crumbing the cheese….just so much more crunch!!! Brilliant!

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julie September 11, 2009 at 8:56 am

I’m having serious salad envy…..

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Lori @ RecipeGirl September 11, 2009 at 8:56 am

This is gorgeous- I love the fried/baked cheese idea! And figs are droolworthy all around :)

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pierre September 11, 2009 at 11:29 am

hello elly
I am french and from Ile de France too !
and your recipe looks great and tasty
If you like French food come to see my food blog you are welcome !
à bientôt (see u )
Pierre

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Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen September 11, 2009 at 2:03 pm

You are so right, Elly, these are some of the best flavor combinations ever! Your photo is gorgeous too!

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Lele September 11, 2009 at 3:07 pm

Mmmmmmmmmmmm that salad has all of my favorite things. Goat cheese, figs, pine nuts… any of those would be great on their own.

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Bellini Valli September 11, 2009 at 5:03 pm

This does sound like a winning combination Elly.

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Shauna September 11, 2009 at 11:00 pm

That sounds delicious! I am definitely going to have to make some of those goat cheese medallions in the near future.

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Peabody September 12, 2009 at 12:36 am

That has just about everything I love. Looks like an awesome salad!

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Kevin September 12, 2009 at 10:16 am

That is one nice looking salad! I am going to have to try grilling/roasting figs.

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Katie September 12, 2009 at 9:08 pm

Wow wow wow. I am LOVING this salad! it’s so perfectly fall and with warm goat cheese AND those gorgeous figs?? I’m LOVING it!

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Kerstin September 13, 2009 at 12:47 am

You had me at warm goat cheese – YUM! And with figs and bacon – it just couldn’t get any better! And yes, calories definitely don’t count when you’re sampling the ingredients needed for dinner :)

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juliez September 13, 2009 at 8:56 am

I made this last night for company and my family. No figs here, but I subbed them with red grapes that I also roasted as you had directed. I loved it, as did my older son, and the lady that was over. My husband didn’t care for it (he’s picky, hates fruit in anything *roll eyes here*) and my younger son and the lady’s hubby declared it ok.

I would definitely make it again – it was simple, easily prepared mostly ahead of time, and very tasty! Thanks for the recipe!

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Karine September 15, 2009 at 9:39 pm

This salad looks delicious! I was also planning on using fresh figs in a salad :)

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Peter September 23, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Darlin’, this salad is art…what with the cheese, the greens and roasted figs..I’ve been slayed.

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Lauren October 7, 2009 at 9:24 pm

I am going to make this, but how long do you bake the goat cheese medallions for? I like the idea of baking them rather than pan-frying. THanks!

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elly October 8, 2009 at 6:55 am

Hi Lauren – I would bake them for about 6-7 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Just keep an eye on them so they are golden without melting. Goat cheese is pretty good about keeping its shape. Hope you like the salad!

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Lauren October 11, 2009 at 6:51 pm

Elly, this was fantastic! I made it with roasted red grapes instead of figs and I also carmelized some shallots in the bacon renderings and included that in the dressing. DELICIOUS, thank you!

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Aricka January 10, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Just reading the title you had me all warm and fuzzy. I love goat cheese. There is this restaurant about 30 minutes away that combines figs, goat cheese, hazelnuts apples and figs with a balsamic dressing and I get all goo goo over it in a way my husband can’t explain. This salad might just be the next level. Thanks for sharing.

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