Salad With Warm Goat cheese
- Servings: 4.
A favorite and easy-to-make French salad is one in which a round of goat cheese is placed on a piece of bread and baked until the bread is toasted and the cheese is soft but not melted and then added to a simple green salad. It's on the menu of nearly every Parisian café and brasserie and is easy to make in our own city kitchens.
You can make this either with a special imported fresh chevre or a domestic one (although I avoid ones by Coach which I find are always too sour). The small, round crottins are good and easy to slice into three or two generous portions.
This recipe calls for using two small slices of bread per serving but you can easily adjust the portions to use one larger slice of bread and one piece of goat cheese per serving, as shown in the photograph.
- 8 to 10 oz. log of goat cheese (Montrachet is a good and easy-to-find type) or 3 or 4 small individual cheeses called crottins (usually available at cheese shops or better cheese departments); keep the cheese chilled until ready to use
- 8 small slices of rustic bread, like ciabatta or pugliese or levain
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing the bread
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Mixed salad greens for 4 servings, about 8 cups
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Slice 8 half-inch slices of goat cheese from the log, or if you're using the individual crottins, slice them horizontally, also into half-inch slices. Goat cheese can easily crumble when slicing it with a knife so try using a length of dental floss to cut the slices.
- Place the bread on a baking sheet and brush each slice with olive oil. Place a slice of goat cheese on each slice and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the bread is toasted and the cheese is warm and softened, but not melted.
- Make the vinaigrette by combining the vinegar with the mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Stir with a fork or small whisk until the salt dissolves and the mustard is combined. Add the olive oil and whisk until combined. You can make the vinaigrette in advance and whisk it again just before dressing the salad.
- Place the greens in a large salad bowl. Drizzle enough vinaigrette to just lightly coat and toss. Divide the salad among four plates and place two slices of the toasted bread and cheese on each plate. Sprinkle each piece of cheese with a little ground pepper.
- Serve immediately while the cheese is still warm and soft