Deep Fried Waffle Salad

“You cook adventurous things? So like, a waffle salad or something?”

I do now. Culinary Challenge accepted.

The star ingredient in this dish, the deep fried waffle ‘croutons’, are absolutely delicious; delightfully crunchy on the outside with tender interiors. They’re sweet and doughy and buttery – honestly, they’d make a pretty perfect dish all by themselves.

But the challenge was a waffle salad, so I contrived a supporting cast to make the pairing of waffle and mixed greens less awkward. The balsamic vinegar, maple syrup reduction takes the place of dressing in this recipe, giving the dish tartness tempered with sugar. The walnuts provide texture and neutral notes to give context to the other flavors. Finally, the chèvre provides a perfect counterpoint to the sweetness of the other ingredients with it’s saltiness and creamy texture. All these different elements help bridge the gap between waffle and mixed greens.

So, does it work?

Considering that it’s a waffle salad – Yes. Yes it does. It tastes delicious, and the sweet elements of the dish actually pair well with the spiciness of the argula and other greens. The oddity of what you’re eating does interject at times, but that doesn’t make it any less tasty.

Make this dish for brunch and blow someone’s mind.

Deep Fried Waffle Salad

  • 2 freezer waffles, lightly toasted (I recommend blueberry)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup cooking oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 4-6 walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup chèvre
  • 1 1/2 cups mixed greens
  1. Cut or tear the waffles into 1/2 inch squares. Break the egg into a wide bowl and beat until mixed together. On a plate, combine the flour and brown sugar and mix until evenly distributed. Add the oil to a cast iron pan and heat to medium-high.
  2. Add the waffle sections to the beaten egg and toss until evenly coated. Remove and dredge in the sugar-flour mixture until lightly coated. Drop each waffle section into hot oil and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Remove from heat and set on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
  3. In a small pot or sauce pan, combine the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and corn starch. Bring the mixture to a simmer and reduce by half, roughly 6-8 minutes. The resulting mixture should have a syrupy viscosity.
  4. Pile the mixed greens on a small plate and top with the deep fried waffles, walnuts and chèvre. Drizzle the balsamic reduction over the top and serve.
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