Goat Cheese Salad with Arugula & Apple

This arugula goat cheese salad is simple but a symphony of flavor! Apples, pecans and balsamic dressing make perfection on a plate. I don’t know about you, but we’re always in search of the perfect back pocket salad. You know, the one that’s easy enough to whip up on moments notice? The one that takes little effort but delivers massive flavor? Here’s one that’s on our new favorite back pocket concept: the Goat Cheese Salad with Arugula and Apples! It’s simple and comes together quickly, but my does it deliver on flavor! The crunch of the apples, creamy goat cheese, and fluffy arugula are the ideal pair for the tangy sweet dressing. We couldn’t stop eating this one! It’s a riff on some of our other salads, but it might be the best of the lot. Ingredients in this arugula goat cheese salad Goat cheese is one of our favorite ingredients for a salad, because it adds a creamy richness to every bite! Here are the elements that come together to make this salad a symphony of flavor: Goat cheese: Soft goat cheese or chevre is best here, though you can use the pre-packaged crumbles as well Baby arugula: Make […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This arugula goat cheese salad is simple but a symphony of flavor! Apples, pecans and balsamic dressing make perfection on a plate.

Goat Cheese Salad

I don’t know about you, but we’re always in search of the perfect back pocket salad. You know, the one that’s easy enough to whip up on moments notice? The one that takes little effort but delivers massive flavor? Here’s one that’s on our new favorite back pocket concept: the Goat Cheese Salad with Arugula and Apples! It’s simple and comes together quickly, but my does it deliver on flavor! The crunch of the apples, creamy goat cheese, and fluffy arugula are the ideal pair for the tangy sweet dressing. We couldn’t stop eating this one! It’s a riff on some of our other salads, but it might be the best of the lot.

Ingredients in this arugula goat cheese salad

Goat cheese is one of our favorite ingredients for a salad, because it adds a creamy richness to every bite! Here are the elements that come together to make this salad a symphony of flavor:

  • Goat cheese: Soft goat cheese or chevre is best here, though you can use the pre-packaged crumbles as well
  • Baby arugula: Make sure to get baby arugula; standard arugula is much too spicy
  • Apple: A crisp red apple is best, though you can use a Granny Smith as well
  • Shallot: A shallot is a milder version of a red onion, and completes the flavor
  • Pecans: Substitute in any nut you’d like, or see below on how to step up the flavor
  • Balsamic dressing: This creamy balsamic dressing is our go-to, but you can use others too (see below)
Arugula goat cheese salad

Best salad dressing, and a few alternatives

Our favorite vinaigrette for this goat cheese salad is our Creamy Balsamic Dressing. It’s got just the right sweet tart flavor and creamy, emulsified texture. All you need is balsamic vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, and olive oil: and it comes together in a breeze! Memorize it and you’ll have a dressing for all of your future salads; it’s our best loved salad dressings in this house!

But looking to mix it up? There are a few other vinaigrettes we love that pair with a goat cheese salad. Here’s what we’d recommend:

Step up the pecans: toast them or glaze them!

Want to make this salad really pop? When we’re making this goat cheese salad with arugula on a weeknight, we use plain nuts. But for entertaining, there are two ways to really make this salad sparkle:

  • Toast the nuts. A quick toast in the oven or in a skillet makes a huge difference: it really brings out the nutty flavor. Try Toasted Pecans, Toasted Walnuts or Toasted Almonds.
  • Glaze the nuts. Even better: make Glazed Pecans! Throw them in a pan with maple syrup and caramelize them: when they dry, they’ll be sweet and crunchy on the outside. Also try Glazed Walnuts.
Balsamic dressing

Variations on this goat cheese salad

There are infinite variations on this goat cheese salad with arugula: just swap in different fruits, veggies, or nuts to make variations of all kinds! Here are a few options:

  • Use different nuts, like walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts or pistachios
  • Make a pear goat cheese salad with sliced pears
  • Make a beet goat cheese salad with roasted beets (it’s easiest with pre-cooked packaged beets from the store, or roast your own)
  • Use berries instead, like blueberries, blackberries, or strawberries
  • Swap fruit for veggies, like carrots (raw or roasted) or roasted sweet potatoes
  • Use different leafy greens, like baby mixed greens, spinach, or shaved Brussels sprouts

You readers always have the best ideas! So let us know the ways you’ve customized this salad.

Goat Cheese Salad

Goat cheese vs cows cheese

Did you know goat cheese is slightly healthier than a standard cow’s cheese, like Parmesan or mozzarella? Here’s a little breakdown on how it compares (source: Prevention):

  • More vitamins and minerals than cow’s cheese. Goat’s milk is richer in essential nutrients than cow’s milk. It has more vitamin A & B, calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium.
  • Slightly less calories than cow’s cheese. Goat cheese has just 75 calories per ounce—less than cow cheeses like mozzarella (85 calories), Swiss (108 calories), and cheddar (115 calories).
  • May be easier to digest. Goat cheese has less lactose than cow’s milk and a slightly different protein structure, so people who are lactose intolerant many times can digest goat cheese.

This goat cheese salad with arugula recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Arugula Goat Cheese Salad

Goat Cheese Salad with Arugula & Apple


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This arugula goat cheese salad is simple but a symphony of flavor! Apples, pecans and balsamic dressing make perfection on a plate.


Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Balsamic Dressing (or Citrus Salad Dressing or Dijon Dressing)
  • 1 crisp apple
  • 1 shallot
  • 5 ounces (8 cups) baby arugula (not standard arugula*)
  • 1/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped (toasted or glazed, if desired)
  • 2 ounces soft goat cheese (chevre), crumbled
  • Sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, make the dressing.
  2. Thinly slice the apple and shallot.
  3. Place the greens on a plate. Top with the sliced shallot, apple, pecans, and crumbles of soft goat cheese. Drizzle with dressing and top with a sprinkle of sea salt.

Notes

*Standard arugula has much too spicy of a flavor; look for the small baby arugula leaves like you see in the photo. It comes packaged in the produce section near the greens, or may be available at your local farmer’s market. 

  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Salad
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Arugula goat cheese salad

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Fresh Corn Soup

This simple corn soup is a seasonal way to enjoy fresh corn! The sunny flavor is sweet and nuanced, and it’s full of healthy vegetables. Want a corn recipe outside of eating it on the cob? Try this Fresh Corn Soup! It’s a new favorite around here. The flavor is sweet and nuanced, full of vegetables like onion, celery, potatoes, and of course: loads of corn! Many corn soup recipes are heavy with rich cream and butter, but this one is light and healthy. On its own it’s vegan and plant-based, but we like serving it with a dollop of sour cream to make it a little more filling. Here’s how to make this tasty seasonal treat! Ingredient notes for corn soup This fresh corn soup is different from a corn chowder. Instead of rich and creamy, this healthy soup is fresh and full of vegetables. It’s partially blended to have a chunky texture: or you can fully puree it to have it smooth. It’s up to you! We like it partially blended so it’s got both body and chunks, but that’s just us. Here are some notes on the main ingredients you’ll need: Fresh corn on the cob: Make […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This simple corn soup is a seasonal way to enjoy fresh corn! The sunny flavor is sweet and nuanced, and it’s full of healthy vegetables.

Corn soup

Want a corn recipe outside of eating it on the cob? Try this Fresh Corn Soup! It’s a new favorite around here. The flavor is sweet and nuanced, full of vegetables like onion, celery, potatoes, and of course: loads of corn! Many corn soup recipes are heavy with rich cream and butter, but this one is light and healthy. On its own it’s vegan and plant-based, but we like serving it with a dollop of sour cream to make it a little more filling. Here’s how to make this tasty seasonal treat!

Ingredient notes for corn soup

This fresh corn soup is different from a corn chowder. Instead of rich and creamy, this healthy soup is fresh and full of vegetables. It’s partially blended to have a chunky texture: or you can fully puree it to have it smooth. It’s up to you! We like it partially blended so it’s got both body and chunks, but that’s just us. Here are some notes on the main ingredients you’ll need:

  • Fresh corn on the cob: Make this soup only when you get get seasonal, ripe corn on the cob. Out of season corn is bitter and sour. Trust us, you don’t want to spend the time and effort on this soup if you’re not working with the best corn possible.
  • Onion, celery, garlic, and potatoes: Round out this soup with the usual suspects: they’re just the right backup characters.
  • Dried thyme, basil, and oregano: Herbs add depth of flavor without calories.
  • Vegetable broth, olive oil and butter: There’s just a little butter (substitute olive oil for plant-based).
Corn soup

How to cut corn off the cob

Have you ever tried to cut corn kernels off the cob, only spray them around your entire kitchen? (Two enthusiastic hands up, over here!) After years of doing the same, we finally found a better way. Yes, there’s a secret to cutting corn kernels so they collect all neatly together. All you need is a Bundt pan or tube pan, the kind you use for angel food cake. Here’s how to cut corn off the cob:

  • Place the tip of the corn cob into the hole in the middle of the pan. Hold the bottom of the corn cob securely with your non-cutting hand.
  • Use a large chef’s knife to cut in a downward motion, letting the corn cobs kernels collect neatly into the bundt pan.
How to cut corn off of cob

How to make corn soup: just a few tips!

This healthy corn soup isn’t rocket science: it follows the same tried and true formula of most soup recipes. Chop veggies, saute veggies, add broth and simmer. That’s what you’ve got here! There are just a few things outside of the standard motions:

  • Cut the potatoes very small: it will cook faster! We cut ours into a small dice. If you cut them larger, you’ll just have to simmer a bit longer until they’re tender.
  • Make a corn broth while you chop the veggies. Many corn soup recipes simmer the soup with the corn cobs right in the pot to add extra flavor. The pot can sometimes get very full when you do this. So we found an alternate method! You can simply pour 2 cups boiling water over 2 corn cobs in a bowl, then go about the business of making the soup. It adds quite a bit of flavor!

Blend corn soup to make it chunky, or go fully pureed

Once you’ve simmered this easy corn soup, here’s where you get to put your touch on it. There are three ways to serve this soup:

  • Partially blend it. This is what we did for the photos here! It gives the soup a nice thick body with chunks of vegetables, but it’s not fully pureed. (Sometimes totally smooth soups don’t feel as satisfying, in our opinion.) You can do this with an immersion blender by throwing it in the pot and pulsing until you have the right texture, or pulse in a standard blender a few times.
  • Fully puree it. You can also puree it all so it’s perfectly smooth! That’s easiest in a blender.
  • Don’t blend it at all. It doesn’t taste quite the same, but if you don’t want to bother blending: you can eat it as a brothy soup, too.
Corn soup

It’s all about the garnishes

The fun part is the garnishes! They make it visually appealing and add a contrasting freshneses. Here’s what we’d recommend:

  • Fresh corn. We like to save out a little fresh corn from the bunch for a garnish at the end. I love using the pieces that all stick together to give a little texture.
  • Red pepper or tomato. The red makes a beautiful color contrast.
  • Basil or chives. Fresh herbs add big flavor and the green adds another great contrast.
  • Sour cream. A dollop helps it to add in just the right amount of richness, and keeps it a little more filling. You can use vegan sour cream for vegan. Speaking of filling…

How to serve corn soup

Keep in mind that this fresh corn soup isn’t packed with plant based protein: it’s more of a side dish than a main meal. Here are a few things you add to make it a main dish:

Corn on the cob

This corn soup recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

Print
Corn soup

Fresh Corn Soup


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This simple corn soup is a seasonal way to enjoy fresh corn! The sunny flavor is sweet and nuanced, and it’s full of healthy vegetables.


Ingredients

  • 6 large ears corn (about 4 cups corn kernels, cut off the cob)
  • 1 cup diced white onion (1 medium white onion)
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 pound red potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter (substitute olive oil or coconut oil for vegan)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon each dried thyme, dried basil, and dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • For the garnish: sour cream or vegan sour cream (optional), cheese (optional), chopped red pepper or tomato, thinly sliced shallot or chives, torn basil, etc

Instructions

  1. Cut the corn off of the cob. Optional: To infuse even more corn flavor, make a quick corn broth by placing two of the cobs with corn cut off in a medium bowl. Cover with 2 cups boiling water (it’s easy to use a teapot to heat), then let it sit until adding the water in Step 4.
  2. Finely dice the onion.  Chop the celery. Mince the garlic. Finely dice the potatoes.
  3. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and celery cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook additional minute.
  4. Add the corn, potatoes, broth, water, thyme, basil, oregano, and kosher salt and bring the pot to a boil. Once boiling, simmer 10 to 12 minutes until potatoes are soft. Taste and add up to another 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and some fresh ground black pepper to taste.
  5. Blend partially with an immersion blender so it’s partially creamy and part chunky, or transfer to blender and pulse several times (taking care of the hot soup). You can also eat as is for a broth texture, or fully puree for a completely smooth texture.
  6. Serve warm, with the garnishes. Add sour cream or cheese for a more filling bowl, if desired.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Soup

Keywords: Corn soup

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes