April 8, 2021

Pistachio Goat Cheese Strawberry Salad

With avocados and honey balsamic vinaigrette, this pistachio strawberry goat cheese salad is the best combination of savory with a little bit sweet.

With avocados and honey balsamic vinaigrette, this pistachio strawberry goat cheese salad is the best combination of savory with a little bit sweet.

Pistachio Goat Cheese Strawberry Salad

Like most of us, I can’t resist a sale. For me, it’s food that I get more excited about than clothes, specifically berries.

Berry season hasn’t made it to our Midwest farmers markets yet for many reasons including the fact that we’re a month out from outdoor markets starting again. Plus there are still stretches of cold.

But things look different at the grocery store where there are A LOT of berries. Somehow it’s already that time of year. They are such a good deal that I end up buying them in big quantities.

Pistachio Goat Cheese Strawberry Salad

I can’t fill my cart with enough sweet strawberries to last us through the week. The other day I had to go on another shopping trip after my 7-year-old polished off a half pound of ripe strawberries in one sitting. He was so proud of the pile of leafy tops leftover on his plate.

When it comes to snacking, I prefer raspberries or blackberries. What I do love to do with strawberries is use them in salads.

Starting in late spring and going through summer, fruit is my favorite feature ingredient in a seasonal salad. That includes anything from blueberries to peaches to apricots.

This pistachio goat cheese strawberry salad is the perfect balance of savory with hints of sweet. It has a tasty combination of strawberries and balsamic vinegar.

Balsamic vinaigrette in a bowl

Ingredients & Substitutions

This is what you need for the salad recipe:

  • Goat Cheese: Instead of goat cheese crumbles, I buy logs, so I can slice the cheese into rounds that I coat with pistachios.
  • Pistachios: Raw shelled pistachios are bright green, and they toast in the oven on the goat cheese. There is already so much going on in the salad that you won’t think twice that the nuts aren’t salted.
  • Strawberries: I always look for containers with fresh strawberries that are smaller because they taste sweeter. Slice them in half and if you do happen to end up with larger berries, quarter them.
  • Avocado: I adore diced creamy avocado in this salad because their bite really matches up well with tangy goat cheese. They just go together.
  • Red Onions: These onions pop in the best way! Just thinly slice them and mix them with the greens and everything else.
  • Baby Kale: Salad greens that are sturdy are great for strawberries, which can weigh down your lettuce. If you’re not a kale person, use baby spinach instead or a spring mix.
  • Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette: Keeping with the savory and a touch of sweet theme, I add a teaspoon of honey to this garlicky balsamic vinaigrette with extra-virgin olive oil. It’s a favorite dressing of mine.
Pistachio Goat Cheese Strawberry Salad

How To Make A Pistachio Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Prep the goat cheese. Whisk together the egg and water in a small bowl. Dunk the goat cheese into the mixture and then into a bowl with the pistachios. The egg wash actually acts like the glue. Then put the rounds on the baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes, and let the goat cheese cool for 15 minutes.
  3. Make the balsamic dressing. Whisk together the honey, garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and olive oil in a bowl.
  4. Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl including the kale, strawberries, diced avocados, onions, chopped pistachios and chives.
  5. Drizzle the salad with the dressing.
  6. Top with the goat cheese rounds before serving.
Coat the goat cheese rounds in chopped pistachios

A Shortcut

If you don’t have time to prep the creamy goat cheese, coat it in nuts and bake it, just skip that part. Of course, I know that’s the star of the salad, but you really can’t beat that combination of strawberries, goat cheese, nuts and avocados. So just use a 1/4 – 1/3 cup of cheese crumbled. Feta and blue cheese would also be great substitutes for this simple recipe.

If the vinaigrette becomes solid in the chill of the fridge, let it sit out at room temperature and the oil will turn to liquid again.

Serving

You absolutely can serve the salad as is or add a protein like a sliced chicken breast. I think it’s worthy of being called a main dish in when it’s vegetarian, but I totally understand if you want to make this addition.

Pistachio Goat Cheese Strawberry Salad

Leftovers

As with any salad, if you know you aren’t going to eat it all at one meal, don’t toss the entire salad in the dressing. Store a portion of the undressed salad in an airtight container (up to 2 days), and the vinaigrette in a mason jar or something else. The nuts will loose some of their crunch as they sit in the fridge.

More Fruit Salad Recipes

Strawberry Cucumber Pasta Salad
Stone Fruit Salad
Watermelon Cucumber Corn Salad
Nectarine Grape Salad
Watermelon Peach Salad

Print
Pistachio Goat Cheese Strawberry Salad

Pistachio Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

With avocados and honey balsamic vinaigrette, this pistachio strawberry goat cheese salad is the best combination of savory with a little bit sweet.

Ingredients

  • For goat cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup finely chopped raw shelled pistachios
  • 24 ounce goat cheese logs, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
  • For vinaigrette
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • For salad
  • 5 ounces baby kale or spinach
  • 8 ounces strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 small red onion finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped raw shelled pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water. Dip the goat cheese rounds into the egg mixture and then into the pistachios, coating the cheese with nuts on all sides. Place the goat cheese on the prepared sheet pan and bake for 7 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes.
  3. While the goat cheese rounds are baking, make the vinaigrette. Combine the honey, garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the baby kale, strawberries, avocado, red onions, chopped pistachios and chives. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette.
  5. Plate the salad and top with goat cheese rounds.
  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
 

WHAT DID YOU THINK?

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Recipe rating

  1. This salad is so good! I made it for my guests and they were really impressed. Thank you! We need more delicious salads in our lives.

  2. This salad was incredibly delicious. I did not use the oven at all – I just added crumbled goat cheese and honey roasted pistachios at the end separately.

  3. Love this salad! Made to many pistachio crusted goat cheese rounds the first time, so I froze them in a zip lock. They are rich, so I took out (2) for tonight’s dinner. We each had one on our salad & I added roasted chicken for additional protein. I am typically a strawberry fan when blended in a smoothie. However, the strawberries in this salad with balsamic is absolutely Delicious!

  4. My husband & I loved this recipe! He said it tasted like a restaurant meal. Absolutlely delicious & will be a great meal for summer dinners. I added grilled shrimp!