Karen shows how the melted unctuousness of hot goat’s cheese paired crisp, cool and perfectly dressed salad leaves makes for a divine combination.
It may seem like a cliché, but a hot goat’s cheese salad is still a favourite with me. I particularly like the combination of hot and cold – the melted unctuousness of the cheese with crisp, cool salad leaves makes for a divine combination, and a nice bit of “chèvre” is always welcome on my table, whether it be in salads, with bread and/or crackers or with fresh fruit and nuts.
In France, “Salade au Fromage de Chèvre Chaud” is a perennial favourite on many a bistro or bar menu, and usually comprises a simple plate of “mesclun leaves” with tangy vinaigrette and little rounds of toasted baguette with slices of melted goat’s cheese on top. It’s fabulous with “une pression” (draft beer) OR the ubiquitous glass of wine, and it’s my “to go” veggie snack when I am in France.
My recipe today for Hot Goat’s Cheese Salad with a Honey Mustard Dressing is based on the classic salade au fromage de chèvre chaud, but with the addition of crunchy sliced apples, thin slices of red onions, walnuts, fresh radishes and a fabulous mustard and cider apple vinegar dressing, with a touch of honey. I used slices of brown baguette in place of white and some delicious frisée lettuce leaves for a hint of bitterness to offset the richness of the cheese and sweetness of the dressing.
It’s a simple salad with lots of gutsy flavours and amazing textures which would make a wonderful light luncheon dish as well as a starter for an elegant but rustic style dinner party, with a Gallic theme maybe! I have also enjoyed this salad “cold” on picnics, and although the salad is always better when the cheese and toasts are hot, it is fabulous for not just picnics, but the office lunch box too.
I used a goat’s cheese “log”, as the other shaped goat’s cheeses don’t work as well – one slice fits on a slice of standard baguette perfectly, as you can see from the photos, and is easy to pick up for tactile “hands-on” salad enjoyment. Try to source the suggested Cider Vinegar with Honey, which is from Maille, as well as the suggested Mustard with White Wine, Lemon and Garlic, also by Maille. In place of those products, normal cider apple vinegar can be used with a teaspoon of honey added.
Hot Goat’s Cheese Salad with a Honey Mustard Dressing
(Serves 2 as a main meal and 4 as a starter)
8 slices of brown or wholemeal baguette, toasted
8 slices of goats cheese, from a log, about 150g in total weight
Frisée lettuce leaves, amounts to suit course being served
1 apple, cored and cut into thins slices (not peeled)
Handful of radishes, about 3 to 4 per person
Handful of walnuts, about 4 or 5 halves per person
¼ red onion, skinned and cut into very thin slices
6 tablespoons walnut or olive oil
3 tablespoons Cider Vinegar with Honey by Maille, or cider apple vinegar with 1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Mustard with White Wine, Lemon and Garlic by Maille, or normal Dijon mustard
Juice of half a small lemon
Sea salt flakes, to taste
Make the dressing first by placing all the ingredients into a jar or container, place a lid on and shake vigorously to mix. Adjust seasoning to taste. Shake well again before using.
Salad: Put one slice of goat’s cheese on each slice of toasted baguette slices and place under the grill. Grill until the cheese has melted and is golden brown.
Meanwhile, arrange the salad leaves, apple slices, radishes and walnuts on a plate and then top with the red onion slices. Once the goat’s cheese toasts are ready, place them on top of the salad and dress with vinaigrette.
Inspired? Visit Great British Chefs collection for more Maille recipes.