This Spring Greens Salad with Walnut-Coated Goat Cheese is All About Upping Your Energy

A bite of crisp greens and melty, nutty cheese plus energy-boosting nutrients in every bite? Yes, please!

Photo: James Ransom

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What’s better for your mood, your focus and your energy levels than a meal that’s loaded with nutrients? Well, this Spring Greens Salad with Walnut-Coated Goat Cheese goes well beyond your average salad. Made with foods that are particularly beneficial for increasing energy, you’ll get the usual fiber and protein along with much-needed fats, vitamins and minerals when you’re in a slump. From the iron present in the asparagus to the omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium in the walnuts to the potassium and nitrates in radishes, it’s everything you need for energy in each bite.

This recipe is easier than it looks, especially if you mind the tip about achieving flawless goat cheese medallions. Here’s how to master it: Start with very cold goat cheese. Cut the log in half crosswise, then cut each half into fourths (about ¾ inch thick). Run knife under hot water and wipe it clean between cuts. Then, use your palms to flatten the medallions slightly and re-adhere any chunks that come off. Use one hand to dip medallions in egg wash, and the other to press them into the walnuts.

And in addition to creaminess and crunchiness all in one, the goat cheese medallions topping this spring greens salad offer another crucial nutritional benefit. Goat cheese is great for energy! It delivers a quick burst of energy thanks to its fatty acids. This detail, when paired with the good-for-you fats present in the walnuts, ensures you won’t finish your plate without replenishing your energy levels.

Spring Greens Salad with Walnut-Coated Goat Cheese

Prep Time
30 min
50 min



  • 3⁄4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1⁄2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1⁄4 tsp garlic powder
  • ⅛ tsp + 1 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1 10-oz log goat cheese, cut into 8 slices
  • 1 large egg, beaten with 1 tbsp water
  • olive oil cooking spray (for baking, or 3 tbsp extra- virgin olive oil for frying)
  • 1⁄2 bunch thin asparagus (about 6 oz), trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces on a diagonal
  • 1 small radicchio, torn into bite- size pieces
  • 1⁄2 cup English peas
  • baby romaine, torn, or 5 cups mixed greens
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 4 lemon wedges, for serving


  • zest and juice of 1⁄2 lemon
  • 2 tsp raw honey
  • 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄4 tsp each sea salt and ground black pepper


  1. Line a small baking sheet or baking dish with parchment. Make cheese medallions: In a food processor, combine walnuts, oregano, garlic powder and ⅛ tsp salt;
    pulse until very finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Place egg wash in a separate bowl.
  2. Using your hands, make and slightly flatten 8 cheese medallions. Working one at a time, dip cheese medallions in egg wash, then dredge in walnut mixture, pressing slightly. Place cheese medallions on baking sheet. Freeze until firm.
  3. Make dressing: In a bowl, whisk together lemon zest, juice and honey. Whisking constantly, drizzle in olive oil. Whisk in salt and pepper. Dressing recipe makes about ⅓ cup. (Note: You can make the dressing up to 2 days ahead; keep covered at room temperature. Whisk well before using.)
  4. Make salad: Have a bowl of ice water ready. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil; add remaining 1 tsp salt. Add asparagus; blanch until just tender and bright green, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer asparagus to ice water to halt cooking and preserve color and crunch. Add peas to boiling water; blanch until tender and bright green, about 1 minute. Transfer to ice water. When vegetables have cooled, drain and pat dry with a paper towel.
  5. Bake cheese medallions: Preheat oven to 350oF. Mist cheese medallions with cooking spray and arrange on prepared baking sheet. Bake until walnuts are toasted and cheese has softened, 12 to 15 minutes, turning over halfway through. Alternatively, you can fry the medallions: In a medium nonstick skillet over medium, heat one-half of the oil. Add one-half of the medallions and cook until golden on 1 side, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully flip (use a fish spatula, if you have one) and continue cooking until golden on both sides and softened, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Repeat with remaining oil and medallions.
  6. Assemble salads: Divide lettuce, vegetables and radishes among 4 plates. Drizzle each salad with 1 tbsp of the dressing (or more, if desired). Top each serving with 2 cheese medallions and serve with a wedge of lemon.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size ¼ of recipe
  • Calories 548
  • Carbohydrate Content 15 g
  • Cholesterol Content 79 mg
  • Fat Content 47 g
  • Fiber Content 4 g
  • Protein Content 20 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 14 g
  • Sodium Content 669 mg
  • Sugar Content 6 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 18 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 12 g

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