I’ve mentioned before what a nut I am about French goat cheese. I especially love Salade au Chèvre Chaud (warm goat cheese salad); see my Eye Prefer Paris post on this salad here.
Recently, an email from a US firm that represents Goat Cheeses of France had me revisiting goat cheese in salad once again. They sent me a recipe that made me realize that—of course—goat cheese salad doesn’t have to be chaud to be marvelous in salad.
The key is to make sure you’re using the right goat cheese. While many diners enjoy crumbles of fresh goat cheese sprinkled in the salad, I’ve never found them to add much more to salads than tanginess.
If you, like me, love a little creaminess and complexity in your goat cheese, then a great choice for salads is a semi-aged (aka semi-ripened) goat cheese from Valençay; if you can’t find this particular goat cheese, ask your cheese monger for a similar French goat cheese that’s been aged long enough to form a rind. Other good options include Crottin de Chavignol, Selles-sur-Cher, and Pouligny-Saint Pierre.
Another thing I love about this recipe: It features dressed, uncooked spring vegetables—without an abundance of lettuce to “bulk it up” as we sometimes do in the U.S. It’s the perfect salad to rouse the appetite. Or, serve it with bread and perhaps some charcuterie for a main dish.
May this find you enjoying spring—and the great produce that comes your way this season.
Shaved Spring Vegetable Salad with Valençay This recipe is from Goat Cheeses of France. Visit their website at http://goatcheesesoffrance.com. Salad photo by Geert Teuwen.
Serves: 2 as a main dish; 4 for an appetizer/starter salad
6 oz. asparagus (about 2 cup shaved)
2 medium-sized radishes
½ tsp capers, drained and minced
Fresh black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp caper juice
1 tsp honey
1 tsp parsley, minced
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Cut the top and bottom off the radishes, and thinly slice into the bowl with the asparagus. Toss with capers.
In a small bowl, whisk together the caper juice, honey and parsley. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking until fully combined.
Drizzle the vinaigrette over the asparagus salad and mix with tongs. Top with freshly cracked pepper. Cut 4, ¼-inch slices of Valençay. Lay 2 slices of the cheese next to each other on one side of the plate. Divide the salad evenly among the plates, piling next to cheese. Serve immediately.
Wini Moranville is the author of The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day. Follow her on Facebook at Chez Bonne Femme, and check out her blog at Chez Bonne Femme.
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotte's professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 195 euros per person (about $240)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday,Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.
Come experience Eye Prefer Paris live with Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I personally lead. Eye Prefer Paris Tours include many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes, food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks and gardens and much more. In addition to my specialty Marais Tour, I also lead tours of Montmartre, St. Germain, Latin Quarter, in addition to Shopping Tours, Gay Tours, Girlfriend Tours, Food Tours, Flea Market Tours, Paris Highlights Tours, and Chocolate & Pastry tours.
Tours start at 225 euros for up to 3 people, and 75 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com
Click here to watch a video of our famous Marais tour