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

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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 and Warm Goat Cheese Croutons 1

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.
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Servings: 4
Calories: 240kcal
Author: Lauren Keating


  • 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


  • To prepare the warm goat cheese croutons: set a small pot with about 1/2-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 lined with a paper towel.
  • 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 1/4 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.
  • 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 Facts
Herb Salad with Lemon-Poppy Vinaigrette, Warm Goat Cheese Croutons
Amount Per Serving
Calories 240 Calories from Fat 167
% Daily Value*
Fat 18.5g28%
Fiber 1.7g7%
Protein 10.5g21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
By on April 2nd, 2010

About Lauren

Hi, I'm Lauren! I'm a certified plant-based cook and enthusiastic omnivore who loves looking for creative ways to make weeknight meals more nutritious. I'm the author of Heathy Eating One Pot Cookbook and Healthy Meal Prep Slow Cooker Cookbook. I also blog at The Busy Foodie.

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24 thoughts on “Herb Salad with Lemon-Poppy Vinaigrette and Warm Goat Cheese Croutons”

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

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

    • 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.


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