Venison Gorgonzola Salad with Fried Eggplant Croutons Recipe

Venison Gorgonzola Salad with Fried Eggplant Croutons Recipe
Your guests will think you picked this Venison Gorgonzola Salad with Fried Eggplant Croutons Recipe from a 5-star restaurant! (Jeff Kuhl photo)

This venison salad recipe is topped with crispy fried eggplant croutons and drizzled with a flavorful homemade Gorgonzola dressing

Serves: 6
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time:12 minutes


  • 2 pounds whole venison backstrap
  • Buttermilk
  • Fresh basil
  • Garlic
  • 3 ounces olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon pink sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon basil powder
  • 1 cup Gorgonzola cheese crumbles
  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 8 ounces spring mix
  • Roma tomatoes
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Red onions
  • Balsamic vinegar to drizzle on top
  • Dried apricots, dates, prunes, cranberries (optional)
  • 2-3 cups shredded carrot, cabbage, veggie blend (optional)
  • 1 cup pickled banana peppers (optional)

Fried Eggplant Crouton Ingredients:

  • 1 eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt to taste


  1. Marinate the venison backstrap in the buttermilk, fresh basil and garlic for 48 hours.
  2. Pour olive oil in a cast-iron skillet, heat over medium heat. Rinse off marinade and pat the backstrap dry with a kitchen towel.
  3. Roll venison in seasonings listed up to, but not including, Gorgonzola cheese. Place in skillet and cook for 1 ½ minutes on each of the 4 sides for medium rare, 3 minutes on each side for medium-well to well-done. Let sit 20 minutes, then slice ⅓ inch thick.
  4. In separate saucepan, melt butter. Add red pepper flakes and garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add cheese. Cook for about 3 minutes, then add white wine.
  5. Tear lettuce into 1 ½-inch squares and place in large bowl. Add all other vegetable and sliced venison on top.
  6. To make the eggplant croutons, sprinkle eggplant with salt, then roll in bread crumbs. Heat olive oil in skillet and fry eggplant until golden brown on top.
  7. Add croutons to salad, then pour on the Gorgonzola sauce and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
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