Goat's cheese saladI just rounded off an interview with a pizzeria in Amsterdam that left me in a slight state of culinary ecstasy. While I am generally not into pizzas, I finished that interview with a ridiculously huge craving. It was a phone interview, so sadly there was no taste testing involved. I did learn a lot about what goes into making the perfect pizza though! And here’s a tip: that crust is no trivial matter! It should be airy, light and crisp, yet strong enough to hold a crowning of beautiful ingredients.
But this post isn’t really about pizza. It’s about one of my favorite salads: warm goat’s cheese!

Last summer we had a lot of different goat’s cheese salads in France, and the best were always the most simple. Like the one we ate every Sunday during the community picnic in Soumensac. It wasn’t much more than great cheese wrapped in bacon and served on a few leaves of lettuce with a drizzle of honey. Washed down with a sweet local wine, it was just utterly delightful.
This version isn’t as simple. It has thinly sliced cured ham, walnuts and crisp apple. A heavenly combination that is perfect as either a starter or a light meal.
Enjoy and bon-weekend!

Warm Goat’s Cheese Salad
Serves 4
For the dressing:

  • 1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 tbsps sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • salt and freshly-cracked pepper

For the salad:

  • 80 g walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 12 slices French bread
  • 250 g mixed salad greens
  • 180 g goat’s cheese, sliced
  • 1 Pink Lady apple, sliced
  • 12 slices raw ham

Whisk all of the dressing ingredients in a large bowl until you have a smooth dressing. Roast the walnuts in an ungreased pan and set them aside. Put the bread on a baking sheet and grill one side for 2-3 minutes. Flip them over, top with the cheese and give them another 2-3 minutes, just until the cheese starts to color. Toss the greens through the dressing in the bowl and divide over four plates. Top with the roasted walnuts, apple, raw ham and goat’s cheese toasts.

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