I don’t want to be that kind of w*nker that tells everyone that they spent their year abroad in France, but what can I say, I am that w*nker. I’m a HUGE France fan – its language, its culture and its food. I even have a degree in it (oo la la, right?) And, for me, no trip to France is complete without eating a salade de chevre chaud aka a warm goat’s cheese salad.
This absolute classic is on the menu at pretty much every French restaurant/bistro out there and it’s one of the very few salads I make regularly. It’s SO simple but very effective, mainly because cheese-on-bread, you know?
This recipe is for one person as it’s the kind of thing you make yourself for lunch or a light dinner, but it’s very easily doubled.
Warm goat’s cheese salad with shallot vinaigrette
Serves 1 (very easily doubled)
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 5 mins
¼ of a large echalion (/’banana’) shallot, finely sliced (or 1 small normal shallot)
1 tbsp white wine vinegar (but tbh I use 1.5tbsp cos I love vinegar)
½ tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp olive oil
80g lettuce (I used a mix of cos and red cos – DO NOT DARE USE ICEBURG)
handful cherry tomatoes (roughly 70g), halved (optional)
good quality baguette, cut into 3-5 slices (depending how hungry you are and how big your baguette is)
80g goat’s cheese (from a log with a rind, NOT soft goat’s cheese), cut into 1-2cm rounds
Few sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked (optional – you can also use a pinch of dried thyme or herbes de provence or go au naturel)
¼ – ½ tsp honey
handful toasted pine nuts or walnuts
- Heat grill to medium-high. Slice your baguette into rounds. In a bowl, pour the white wine vinegar over the finely sliced shallots, along with a pinch of salt and set aside to slightly soften in strength.
- Tear your (washed and dried) lettuce leaves into a large mixing bowl. Add the cherry tomatoes, if using.
- Once the grill has heated, put your baguette slices under for a couple of mins, until golden brown. Turn them over and top each with a disc of goat’s cheese, plus a little drizzle of honey and a couple of thyme leaves, if using. Grill for a couple mins until the cheese is melting and starting to brown and the edges of the bread have browned.
- Back to your shallots in vinegar – add a good grind of black pepper, a few more sprigs of finely chopped thyme (if you have it), olive oil and Dijon mustard and stir to make a dressing.
- Pour into your salad bowl and toss together with your hands or a pair of tongs, then pile onto a plate and top with the goats’ cheese toasts and a sprinkling of toasted pine nuts or walnuts.