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I love summer salads. I do not love how much restaurants like to charge for summer salads (or salads in general, as it were). You know the type; simple, just a few ingredients, but ingredients that are in season and full of smack you in the face intense summer flavours. Make your own summer salad!

Make it basic; seasonal greens, seasonal berries, a little onion. Maybe some crumbles of goat cheese, a sprinkle of sesame seeds (black, to stand out against the bright greens and berries), and a drizzle of balsamic and olive oil.

Or, make it fancy; dunk rounds of goat cheese in an egg wash, then press them into black sesame seeds. Fry them quickly, just a minute on each side, then use the crusty rounds of goat cheese to top your summer salad.

You decide.

Don’t forget, there’s still time to enter to win a copy of An Everlasting Meal!

One year ago: Black Bean Salad with Spelt Berries
Two years ago: Wild Rice and Chickpea Salad

Spinach Salad with Summer Berries and Black Sesame Crusted Goat Cheese Recipe:

Local strawberries are just peaking in my corner of the world, so that is what I’ve used in this salad, but you could use any number of seasonal berries, or even a combination of berries.

Recipe from The Muffin Myth

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For each salad:
2 cups seasonal baby greens, washed and dried  (I used spinach)
1/ 2 cup seasonal berries, washed and sliced (depending on their size)
1/8 cup thinly sliced red onion
4 1cm rounds of soft goat cheese (I used the kind with a rind, but chevre is fine)
1 egg
1/4 cup black sesame seeds
1/2 tsp salt
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

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Place greens in the bottom of individual salad bowls. Top with sliced berries and red onion.

Place a small skillet over medium high heat. Crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk it well. Place half of the sesame seeds onto a plate. Pour olive oil onto the hot skillet until it is about 1/2cm deep. Dunk the slices of goat cheese into the egg, then press them onto the sesame seeds, then sprinkle the remaining sesame seeds over the top and press them into the cheese. Place the crusted slices of cheese into the hot oil, and cook for about 1 minute on each side. Remove from the skillet and drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.

Lightly drizzle salads with olive oil, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and then arrange goat cheese rounds over top.

Serve immediately.

Sesame seeds are a good source of cholesterol lowering lignans, manganese, copper, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fiber. Spinach is an excellent source vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, and calcium (good for your bones), folate, potassium, and vitamin B6 (good for your heart), iron, vitamin B2, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. And, spinach is a great source of dietary fiber. Strawberries are an excellent source of antioxidant and anti inflammatory nutrients. They are a great source of lycopene (good for your prostates, fellas) vitamin C and manganese. They are also a very good source of folate, iodine, and dietary fiber.

Goat cheese and heart healthy olive oil are used moderately here. Just enough for some good flavour and to fancy up our salad.

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2012

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