Venison Gorgonzola Salad with Fried Eggplant Croutons Recipe

Add some banana peppers to this Venison Gorgonzola Salad Recipe for that sweet, tangy taste. (Jeff Kuhl photo)

Serves: 8

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes


  • 2 pounds whole venison backstrap (marinated in buttermilk, fresh basil and garlic for 48 hours)
  • 3 ounces olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon each pink sea salt, white pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, granulated garlic and granulated onion (mix together)
  • 2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon basil powder
  • 1 cup Gorgonzola cheese crumbles
  • 1 stick salted creamery 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 salad mix
  • Roma tomatoes
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Red onions
  • Balsamic vinegar to drizzle on top
  • Dried apricots, dates, prunes or 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. Pour olive oil in cast-iron skillet, heat over medium heat.

2. Rinse off marinade and pat dry venison backstrap with kitchen towel. Roll venison in seasonings listed up to, but not including, cheese.

3. Place seasoned venison 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 1⁄3-inch thick.

4. In a 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. To make croutons, sprinkle eggplant with salt, then roll in bread crumbs. Heat olive oil in skillet and fry eggplant until golden brown on top.

6. Tear lettuce into 1-½-inch squares and place in large bowl. Add all other vegetables, fried eggplant croutons and sliced venison on top. Pour on Gorgonzola sauce and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

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