crispy goat cheese rounds with shallot vinaigrette

Reprinted with permission from Bread Toast Crumbs, by Alexandra Stafford (Clarkson Potter, 2017).


  • 2 tablespoons finely minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, plus more as needed
  • Kosher salt
  • Pinch of freshly cracked black pepper
  • Pinch of sugar (I used a spoonful of honey)
  • 8-ounce log of goat cheese, cut into six ¾-inch slices (I used Vermont Creamery)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup homemade dried bread crumbs or panko
  • Neutral oil, for frying
  • Flaky sea salt, for finishing
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 5 ounces (about 8 cups) salad greens
  • 2 beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes, sliced


  1. In a medium bowl, place the shallots and cover them with the vinegar. Season with a pinch each of salt, pepper, and sugar. Set aside to macerate for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, slightly flatten each goat cheese round to a ½-inch thickness.
  3. In a shallow medium bowl, whisk the egg with the flour, 1 tablespoon water, and a pinch of salt. Place the crumbs in a shallow, rimmed dish, such a small sheet pan. Dip a goat cheese round in the egg mixture, allowing any excess to drip off, then into the bread crumbs, pressing them to adhere. Repeat with the remaining rounds.
  4. Heat a thin layer of neutral oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When it begins to shimmer, gently place the breaded rounds into the sauté pan — they should sizzle on contact. Immediately reduce the heat to low. After 1 to 2 minutes, when the rounds begin to brown on the bottom, flip each and brown the other side. Cook 1 to 2 minutes more, then use a spatula to remove each to a clean paper-towel-lined plate. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
  5. Whisk the olive oil into the macerated shallots. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt, vinegar, or oil as needed. Toss the greens and tomatoes with the dressing. Arrange them on a platter beside the crispy goat cheese rounds.


Alexandra notes that the rounds can be chilled in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up a day in advance.

For a savory-sweet dessert, drizzle the rounds with honey. I also sprinkled them with some crushed nuts and, just because sometimes more is more, added a swipe of fig jam.

Vermont Creamery’s various flavors worked wonderfully for these — to my surprise, I liked the crispy rounds best with honey on the Three Peppercorn and Herb de Provence (though that could just be my wackadoo tastes) and plain with the shallot vinaigrette.

Being out of tomatoes, I used ribboned purple carrots, instead.