Herb Salad with Lemon-Poppy Vinaigrette and Warm Goat Cheese Croutons


Lemons, lemons, lemons. This is the third post in a row that involves lemon in some way – it must be Spring! I’ve been playing around with the idea of a lemon-poppy vinaigrette for a while now, but I could never figure out the right application for it. Finally I decided to pair it with this delicate salad that is super simple yet bursting with flavor. I’m not exaggerating at all when I say that this may be my favorite salad of all time!

The tartness of the lemon-poppy vinaigrette, the warm, creamy goat cheese with a slight crunch from the breading, the fresh herbs that set the salad over the top in the flavor department – it all comes together in one big plate full of yum. We had this for dinner last night, and Shawn already asked if we could have it again tonight. So if you’re looking for a springtime treat that won’t weight you down, I highly suggest making this.

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Herb Salad with Lemon-Poppy Vinaigrette, Warm Goat Cheese Croutons
This lemon-poppy vinaigrette has a nice tart flavor, and the poppy seeds add a touch of texture. I kept my dressing on the sour side to balance out the natural sweetness of the berries and cheese, but you can add more honey if you prefer a sweeter flavor. For the goat cheese croutons, it's important to make sure your oil is nice and hot — this will prevent them from soaking up too much oil and will allow them to cook quickly so the cheese becomes warm but doesn't melt.
Serves: 4
  • 1 6-ounce log of goat cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • oil for frying
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1 package Olivia's Organics Herb Blend salad (or a combination of your favorite lettuces and lots of fresh herbs)
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup blueberries
  1. To prepare the warm goat cheese croutons: set a small pot with about ½-inch of oil over medium-high heat. While the oil heats, cut the cheese log into 8 rounds. Quickly dip each round into the beaten egg, then into the breadcrumbs. When the oil reaches 350 degrees (if you don't have a thermometer, put a pinch of breadcrumbs into the oil — if the oil sizzles and the crumbs immediately brown, the oil is ready) add two or three of the goat cheese rounds, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Cook for 10 seconds, then flip and cook for 10 seconds on the other side. Remove from the oil and let rest on a plate lines with a paper towel.
  2. To make the dressing: Roll the lemons back and forth between the counter and your pal, pressing firmly, to help release the juices. Slice in half and juice the lemons — you should have about ¼ cup of juice. Add the lemon juice, shallot, honey, mustard, and oil to a jar. Put the lid on and shake vigorously to combine. Stir in the poppy seeds.
  3. To plate, combine the salad mix with the cilantro. Toss with about half of the dressing (refrigerate the rest for next time)!. Top with the blueberries and 2 goat cheese croutons.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 240 Fat: 18.5 Fiber: 1.7 Protein: 10.5


  1. you had me at “warm goat cheese croutons” – i started drooling immediately! love your pictures in this post! simply stunning and delicious :)

    • thanks! It was really good – I actually do think we might have it again tonight. ;)

      I’ll admit, I’m a little bit in love with the first two pictures.

  2. the goat cheese croutons look awesome! Knowing me, Id eat them as is… LOL.

  3. This looks so yummy! I love goat cheese with a salad and fried coat cheese is even better!

  4. Looks and sounds delicious. Anything goat cheese and you can count me in!

  5. Lauren – warm goat’s cheese salad is one of my favourite meals and if you throw in lemon and poppyseeds, well then I am sold! As you say, stunning pictures – nice job!

  6. The goat cheese looks fabulous! Yum… cheese…

  7. Goat cheese croutons really make this salad something special.

    I’ve been meaning to make a poppy seed dressing for a while now. I think you may have just given me the push I need. Yours looks so good!

  8. Wonderful salad–I love the combination of lemon and blueberries with the goat cheese–Yum!

  9. This salad is so lovely. I have gotten so bored with my salads this winter. I can’t wait to have this lovely spring salad this week.

  10. What a colorful salad. Anything with goat cheese has to be fabulous!

  11. I have been looking for a new salad recipe for an upcoming dinner party and this looks like it just might fit the bill.
    Thank you so much for sharing!

  12. LK, I just wanted to let you know, I’ve included this post and recipe in my weekly Cups of Tea. I just know my readers would love this recipe, as I know I’m excited to try it. Stop on over tomorrow (Sunday, April 4th) and have a peek.

    By the way, beautiful blog. I am thoroughly enjoying it!

  13. Ahhhh! Looks so so good! As you saw, I just bought some goat cheese today- I may be heating it up and making croutons of my own. The vinaigrette sounds awesome too. I eat salad pretty much every day for lunch- I will be on the lookout for these beautiful salad blends. Enjoy the rest of your weekend

  14. Brandie says:

    I’m totally gonna make the Lemon-Poppy Vinaigrette – sounds and looks amazing.

  15. I made this early this afternoon. DELICIOUS! The dressing was wonderful. My only issue was trying to turn the goat cheese croutons. Any suggestions on a simple way to do this?

    • I’m glad you like it!

      I used a spatula to turn the croutons (the kind that has the slit shaped holes in it). I just gave them a nudge from underneath to flip them, but you could also lift them straight out of the oil, turn them over, and lower them back in.

  16. The dressing sounds and looks incredible…but the goat cheese croutons? Forget the salad, I just want a bucket of those! OMG!

  17. Lauren, what a nice salad, love the fruit and the goat cheese croutons sure add a nice taste to the salad…great meal :-)

  18. OMG… I am totally making this, soon!

    (Was this a supportive comment?)

  19. great recipe and love the croutons nom nom

  20. Hello Lauren!

    What a grand salad & i so love your apart dressing!!

    MMMM,…and goat’s cheese croutons,…yummm!

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