Thursday, May 26, 2016

Fresh Summer Salad with Almond Crusted Feta

It finally feels like Summer, the temperatures are consistently in the 80s here and the daylight is lasting longer. There are gorgeous strawberries and blueberries at the farmer's market and in all the grocery stores. I finished grading all the final exams. It's Summer time!

I have a confession; I can not stop eating this salad. Second confession, I don't want to stop eating it. This salad is inspired by a similar salad I had at a restaurant with almond covered goat cheese. It was so good! Warm feta encrusted in a golden, toasted shell. Yes, please!

My recipe has more fruit, both in amount and variety. I also used my favorite salad green, spinach. Spinach is high in folate, which plays an important role in DNA and cell proliferation. Folate has been shown to play roles in preventing some types of cancer and is an essential nutrient especially during pregnancy. 
I hope you enjoy this quick, delicious, nutritious, nutrient-dense recipe.

Fresh Summer Salad with Almond Crusted Feta Cheese

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 7-10 minutes

2 ounces feta cheese
1/4 cup fresh strawberries, rinsed and sliced
1/4 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons sliced almonds

2 Tablespoons canola oil or olive oil
1 egg

For salad dressing:
1 Tablespoon pureed strawberries or strawberry jelly/jam
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Crack egg into a bowl and scramble.
Mix panko and 1 Tablespoon almonds in a second bowl.
Slice 2, one-ounce slices of feta. Place feta into egg mixture. Then, dip in panko and almonds. Cover all cheese with the crunchy coating. Repeat with second slice of feta. Place breaded feta on a place and put in freezer for ~5 minutes.

Wash and thoroughly dry vegetables.
Place spinach, strawberries, and blueberries in a salad bowl.
Mix strawberry puree or strawberry jelly, lemon zest, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and olive oil to make salad dressing. Use 1-2 Tablespoons to dressing for your salad.

Preheat oven to 300*F. Heat a small oven-safe pan with 2 Tablespoons canola or olive oil on medium heat. Place feta into pan. Brown cheese for 2-3 minutes until crust is golden brown. Flip cheese and brown on second side for 2 minutes. Then, place in the oven for 4-5 minutes until cheese is golden brown and warmed through.

Top salad with 1 Tablespoon almonds and feta. Enjoy!

This red, white, and blue recipe is perfect to bring on a picnic, Fourth of July Party, or Memorial Day party. To make it more transportable, you can pack this salad in a mason jar or recyclable plastic cup. Layer the dressing first, Then the blueberries and strawberries. Add your salad greens and top with feta. 

For more recipes, encouragement, and tips for healthy eating, follow me on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter. 

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