Shavuot is one of my favorite culinary holidays. It’s one of the few holidays where dairy dishes do not get pushed aside by meat (though I certainly have nothing against meat!) and get to be the star of the show. It’s also the celebration of Bikkurim (first fruits), which commemorates the bringing of the Seven Species of Israel (barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates) to the Temple in Jerusalem.
Strawberries are not technically one of the seven species, but they are definitely among the “first fruits” of the spring season here in America. In the recipe below, I’ve paired sweet roasted strawberries with medallions of fried goat cheese and a honey lavender vinaigrette. What could taste more like springtime than that?
Recipe below the jump.
Roasted Strawberry Salad with Goat Cheese CroutonsServes 4
2 cups of strawberries cut in half, stemmed
4 ounces of goat cheese
1/3 cup of bread crumbs (use Panko, if available)
2 T. fresh flat leaf parsley-chopped finely
1 T. fresh thyme-chopped finelyFlour for dipping the cheese
4 cups baby greens such as Mesclun variety
1 red onion, sliced very thinly
Salt and pepper
1. Cut the goat cheese into coin shapes (about 1 ounce each coin). Place the coins in the freezer for about 30 minutes until firm and easy to handle.
2. Mix the herbs and the breadcrumbs together on a small plate. Salt and pepper as needed. Place the flour on a small plate.
3. Place a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Lightly coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil.
4. Dredge a cheese coin in the flour. Then dip it into the beaten egg. And finally dip the cheese into the bread crumbs. Place the cheese in the sauté pan and brown it on each side (about 3 minutes per side). Remove the cheese to a paper towel lined plate. Continue with remaining cheese.
5. Place the strawberries on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the strawberries with honey and sprinkle with freshly ground pepper. Roast eh strawberries for about 10 minutes until they are lightly caramelized and very fragrant.
6. Toss the greens with Extra Virgin olive oil and salt and pepper as needed.
7. Mound the greens on four plates or a serving platter. Place the strawberries and red onion on the greens. Place the cheese croutons on top of the salad and drizzle with honey lavender vinaigrette.
Honey Lavender Vinaigrette
1/3 cup best quality honey
2 tablespoons chopped fresh lavender or 1 tablespoon dried lavender
2 teaspoons Dijon style mustard
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup walnut oil (or canola oil if allergic)
Salt and pepper
1. Place the honey in a small saucepan. Add the lavender and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and allow the lavender to steep for at least one hour.
2. Pass the honey through a fine mesh sieve. Whisk all the ingredients together to form an emulsion. Season to taste with salt and pepper.