These past couple of frigid Pittsburgh days have left me desiring something a little bit more tropical. Okay, maybe not tropical but definitely something fresh and bright to help me thaw out a bit. We’ve had quite an impressive stint of sweet recipes, which have undoubtedly kept us warm this winter. But now I feel that it’s time to revisit the savory side of cooking. Our next beer-centric recipe needs to pack a massive punch of flavor, highlight a delicious Pittsburgh brew, and have a light, freshness to wake me up from what seems to be an eternal winter slumber of stews and soups.
We’ve been toying around with the idea of making a beer salad dressing for quite some time now. And now that I’ve committed myself to brightening things up around here, I need to pull out the big guns. Hop Farm Brewing Co. was the first brewery to come to mind for this flavorful dish. Their flagship IPA is beyond delicious. It’s packed full of fresh piney, citrusy hops and finishes with a beautiful earthiness. And the name Hop Farm alone screams fresh, leafy things. So basically, this beer/salad combo is meant to be. The only question is: why hasn’t this happened sooner?
I love working with fresh produce, especially herbs. The rich coloring, the aroma, the crunch, all of it inspires me to get creative in the kitchen. And it reminds me of those hot summer days when we could pick fresh herbs from our patio garden.
So I decided to include all of my favorite salad items in this new dish. Crisp herbs for freshness, goat cheese for a creamy tanginess, and lemon for a bright, citrusy note. Hop Farm’s Flagship IPA is the perfect ingredient to tie it all together.
We present to you….
Panko Crusted Herb Goat Cheese and Arugula Salad with a Hop Farm IPA Salad Dressing. The crunchy, peppery arugula is perfectly complemented by the smooth, bright, lemony IPA dressing. The tangy baked goat cheese rounds are crunchy on the outside, and oozy gooey herb-tastic on the inside. Each part of the salad is delicious on its own, but when eaten together in one harmonious bite, it’s a complete show stopper. This is like high-end restaurant material right here. And it’s beyond easy to make. Here’s how…
Dressing Ingredients (makes about 1 cup)
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 TBSP Hop Farm IPA
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 heaping tsp of sugar
- salt & pepper to taste
Purée lemon zest, lemon juice, shallot, oil, beer, mustard, and sugar in a blender until smooth
season with freshly ground salt and pepper
Herb Baked Goat Cheese Rounds
Ingredients for Rounds and Salad
- 8 oz goat cheese
- 8 TBSP fresh herbs, chopped (we used basil, parsley, rosemary, and sage)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
- freshly ground black pepper
- Arugula or mixed baby greens
- Hop Farm IPA Salad Dressing
- Preheat over to 400 degrees F
- Cover baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray
- Place goat cheese in freezer for 10 minutes
- Slice goat cheese into 8 (1 oz) rounds
- Roll rounds into circles and then flatten with hand
- Place chopped herbs, egg wash and Panko bread crumbs into small, separate bowls
- Press goat cheese round into fresh herbs
- Gently dip round into egg wash
- Then coat with Panko bread crumbs
- Place on aluminum covered baking sheet. Continue process with remaining 7 goat cheese rounds
- Season with freshly ground pepper
- Bake for 8-12 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted in the middle
- Toss the salad with the Hop Farm IPA Salad Dressing (a little goes a long way)
- Place two warm goat cheese rounds on top of each salad and indulge immediately*
- Enjoy the feeling of being a master chef in your own kitchen
Cheers N’at Devon and Tim
*The salad dressing is best when consumed fresh. The flavors intensify greatly when left over night in the fridge, especially the onion note.