April 12, 2006

Salade au Chèvre Chaud

One of the simplest and most pleasing things in life is to eat this salad. As a person known to be suspicious of all things lettuce-y, it took me awhile to warm up to the idea of this salad since I was also skeptical of goat cheese. It shows up on almost every café menu and Paul always ordered it so I thought I'd give it a try last year. Having pleasantly discovered that goat cheese is one of the finer things in life, I can now recommend to you this oh-so-French salad. If you've ever thought French titles sound more elegant than English ones, Salade au Chèvre Chaud vs. Salad with Hot Goat Cheese is a fine example.

This salad consists just of mixed greens in a light mustard vinaigrette, topped with small rounds of goat cheese that have been placed on bread slices and broiled until warm. Think of it as a green salad with goat cheesy croutons. A delicious first course and one I crave.

Salade au Chèvre Chaud

4 (½-inch thick) slices goat cheese, from a log (or individual crottin de chèvre, cut in half horizontally)
2-3 cups mixed greens, something sturdy

4 slices country bread or baguette

handful of walnuts, toasted and broken in pieces
3 Tbsp olive oil or walnut oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar (or partly balsamic vinegar)

1 tsp dijon mustard

1/4 shallot, minced

salt and pepper

Place slices of goat cheese on the bread slices and broil just until the cheese start to melt. Do not let it melt completely. Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk in the oil and add the shallots at the end. Drizzle the greens with the dressing and sprinkle walnuts around the plate. Top the salad with the goat cheese toasts. Et voila. Serves 2.

Last night for this dressing I used ½ sherry vinegar and ½ balsamic vinegar, mustard, shallot and oil, which was delicious. I think any basic vinaigrette would work. I had also intended to place the goat cheese on slices of olive bread, but alas, there was no olive bread to be found, so I'll have to get back to you about that. Also scattering one of the following on this salad would be tasty variation: dried cranberries, sun-dried tomatoes, or chopped fresh herbs like basil, tarragon or thyme.


Oob said...

I am also a new convert to goat cheese. Looooove it now. I also meant to comment on the pot pie! I think Tim and I will try that this weekend, it looked so good.

Megan said...

I know, I can't believe I was so scared of it for so long! Let me know how the pot pie turns out. I think I would make it a little saucier next time...but I did like how it sort of held together. Thanks for your comment =)

Lisa said...

Thanks for the idea. Sounds delicious. I've recently discovered that I can get fresh, locally made goat cheese at our farmers' market, so I'm all up for new ideas on how to use it.

Anonymous said...

I studied in Paris last summer and I ordered this salad at every cafe. I've been going through withdrawals trying to find a good recipe to make it myself, so thank you.