Watermelon and Cherry Tomato Salad with Fried Goat Cheese Medallions
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My coworkers are starting to notice my dangerous watermelon consumption habits during these late summer months. Every morning, I’m asking “do we have watermelon?” and they’re all like, “no because you finished the one we had yesterday, but there’s another on the way.” It’s a vicious, devastating cycle of overconsumption, loss, and hope. I tell my roommate all the time that one of the greatest joys of adulthood (and maybe only? Just kidding…) is going to the grocery store and buying myself a WHOLE melon. I am a Strong! Independent! Woman! I will buy myself a whole melon (and schlep it back myself, too) if I damn want to! I don’t keep a ton of food at home (since I feast at FeedfeedBrooklyn everyday), but you better believe I’m always stocked with some melon (when it’s in season, at least).
That’s why it goes without saying that it was my moral duty to develop this recipe. If watermelon can bring me so much unbridled happiness, it can for others, too. I’m here for consuming watermelon, both in sweet and savory applications, and this summer salad is my new favorite savory rendition. Besides, watermelon, feta, and mint salads are so 2018, right? JK, they’re timeless.
Now that I’ve gotten it out on the table about just HOW much joy a whole watermelon brings me, let’s talk about the next star of this salad. Goat cheese is GOOD but fried goat cheese medallions are GREAT! A combination of Panko bread crumbs and Italian bread crumbs for the outer coating provide a delicious texture for these golden brown beauties. They’re creamy-on-the-inside and crunchy-on-the-outside and you’re probably not going to be able to eat just one. You’re welcome! This dish is exactly what I want at every warm weather get-together from here on out (take notes, friends and family). But if not, I’m always down for some fresh watermelon, too.
- 1 (11 ounce) log goat cheese, frozen 15 minutes before cutting
- 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon Simply Organic Dried Oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon Simply Organic Cayenne Pepper
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 3 cups watermelon, cubed
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1/4 cup basil, chiffonade, plus more for garnish
- Vegetable oil, as needed, for pan frying
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut goat cheese in ½-inch thick medallions, reserving about 1 ounce for garnish.
In a small bowl, combine Panko breadcrumbs, Italian breadcrumbs, oregano, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne. In a separate small bowl add flour. In a third bowl, add eggs.
Dredge medallions in flour, tapping off any excess, then transfer to egg mixture, and coat with breadcrumb mixture. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and let sit in fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the salad. Mix watermelon, cherry tomatoes, arugula, onion, extra-virgin olive oil, lime juice and basil. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. There should be enough oil to come up about ⅓ of way on the sides of the medallions. Pan fry medallions until breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a paper-towel lined baking sheet to absorb excess oil. Top salad with medallions, reserved goat cheese, additional basil, and serve immediately.