Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Goat Cheese Croutons pairs thinly sliced “ribbons” of zucchini tossed in a vinaigrette with fried rounds of goat cheese. A delicious light lunch or an elegant starter course for a dinner party.
With spring in the air, I start thinking about lighter dishes. This salad blends fresh zucchini with goat cheese. It is light and refreshing, yet satisfying with the richness of the cheese.
There’s something about zucchini cut into ribbons. It’s elegant and looks fancy. It can be served raw as a salad or sauteed as a side dish. This salad has raw zucchini tossed in a vinaigrette. After plating, fried rounds of goat cheese garnish the beautiful ribbons, which elevates this salad to something special.
Cutting the zucchini into ribbons is quick and easy. This can be done on a mandolin or with a vegetable peeler. Add to a mixing bowl and toss with the vinaigrette. I like a more acidic vinaigrette, but you can adjust the oil to vinegar ratio to suit your tastes.
Slicing soft goat cheese into rounds can be messy. To get clean slices, there are two methods that work for me. My preferred method is using dental floss – unflavored, of course – to slide right through the cheese to create clean slices. Alternatively, you can place the goat cheese in the freezer for 20 minutes before slicing.
Before frying, coat the goat cheese using a 3-step breading procedure – flour, egg wash, and breadcrumbs. Once breaded, fry the cheese. This only takes one minute per side. Watch the pan carefully, as the cheese browns quickly.
This salad is easy to make, is light and refreshing, and the fried goat cheese croutons add a rich taste. This salad makes a great lunch but can also be served as an elegant starter course at a dinner party.
If you try this recipe, please leave a comment below and tag me on Instagram @mycasualpantry so I can see your creation.
A salad of thinly sliced zucchini tossed in a vinaigrette and topped with fried slices of goat cheese.
- 3 small or 2 medium zucchini
- 1 1/2 tablespoons grapeseed or avocado oil, or similar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- pinch of red pepper flakes, or to taste
- juice of half of a lemon
- 6 ounces goat cheese
- 1/4 cup regular bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoons black pepper
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- 1/8 cup flour
Preheat a non-stick skillet over medium heat with enough oil to cover the bottom of the skillet.
In a shallow dish, combine the bread crumbs, parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. In another shallow dish, add the egg and 1 tablespoon of water and whisk to combine. Add the flour to another dish.
Slice the goat cheese into 8 equal slices approx 1/3 - 1/2 inch thick. For each slice, coat with flour, dip into the egg mixture and coat with breadcrumbs.
When all the slices are breaded, add them to the skillet. Cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute and flip and cook 45 seconds to 1 minute on the other side. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with salt. Set aside.
Trim the top and bottom ends from the zucchini. Cut a thin slice lengthwise off one side to create a flat edge. Using a mandolin (or a vegetable peeler) cut very thin slices lengthwise. Add the ribbons to a mixing bowl.
To a small bowl, add the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Whisk to combine. Drizzle about half of the vinaigrette over the zucchini and toss to combine. Add more dressing to taste if necessary. Top with goat cheese croutons. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve.