Warm goat cheese salad
Put a little Paris in your life
I ate my first warm goat cheese salad (salad au chèvre chaud) at a little hotel restaurant on the left bank, called Hotel Degrés de Notre Dame. I was with my friends Susan and Sarah, and our three 12-year old daughters, Lauren, Kinzie and Carly. This was in the olden days before the internet. You actually had to find hotels by reading guides and magazines. How we stumbled into this charming tiny hotel, I do not recall, but it was a find. They have just a handful of rooms, no elevator or air conditioning, but tons of charm. A tiny circular wooden staircase, old hand hewn beams, a view of Notre Dame from a couple of the rooms, and in those days a very friendly cat named Mimosa. But I digress, back to the goat cheese salad.
Warm, melting rounds of browned goat cheese
Hotel Degrés served a delicious warm goat cheese salad with frisée lettuce, lardons, and breaded rounds of goat cheese that were browned so they were warm and melty on the inside with a crisp brown coating on the outside. This recipe is my interpretation of Hotel Degrés' wonderful salad.
More on Hotel Degrés
A note to anyone interested in staying at Hotel Degrés. After 30-or so years the owner recently sold to a Japanese hotel group. The rooms are the same as they always have been, the receptionist is as helpful as ever and prices are reasonable. Their menu, however, is now Japanese-French fusion. I am told their food is very very good, but alas, no more warm goat cheese salad! So you will just have to make it yourself!
Warm goat cheese salad
Yield 2 servings
Warm goat cheese salad with frisée lettuce, bacon lardons, and rounds of lightly breaded goat cheese, browned so they are warm and melty on the inside and crispy on the outside.
- 1 shallot, finely minced
- 1 T white balsamic vinegar
- 1 t whole grain mustard
- 4 T walnut oil
- 2 slices thick-cut bacon
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup bread crumbs, regular or panko
- 5.5 ounce goat cheese log
- 4 ounces frisee lettuce, cleaned, dried and broken into bite-sized pieces
- 3 ounces butter lettuce, cleaned, dried and broken into bite-sized pieces
- 12 teardrop tomatoes
- To make vinaigrette: Put shallots, vinegar and mustard in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in walnut oil to create an emulsion. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Slice bacon cross-wise into 1/3" strips, so each piece is approximately 1 1/2" x 1/3." Fry the bacon pieces in a pan until they are crispy. Remove to drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Set bacon aside. Pour off most, but not all of the bacon grease, retaining just enough to cook the goat cheese in.
- Cut the goat cheese log cross-wise into 4 disks. One at a time, place the disks on a sheet of plastic wrap. Fold the plastic wrap over each disk and flatten the disk into a half inch thick circle.
- Whisk the egg in a small bowl. Place the bread crumbs in another small bowl. Dip each goat cheese circle first into the egg, and then into the bread crumbs.
- Heat the remaining bacon grease and sauté each goat cheese circle until golden brown on the outside and melting on the inside. Turn once. Avoid turning too many times or you will have scrambled cheese.
- Toss your lettuce in the dressing and plate the salad in individual serving plates. Top each plate with 2 browned cheese circles, 6 tomatoes and half of the crisped bacon.
THIS SERVES WELL WITH