warm goat cheese salad

Warm Goat Cheese Salad Recipe

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In the realm of culinary delights, few dishes strike a chord quite like the warm goat cheese salad. This beloved creation marries simplicity with sophistication, offering a symphony of flavors and textures that has me coming back to this recipe over and over again.

A French Bistro Salad

Known as “Salade de Chèvre Chaud” in French, this timeless classic has been a staple of French cuisine for centuries, cherished for its elegant simplicity and harmonious flavors.

It was in the quaint bistros and countryside cafes of France that the warm goat cheese salad first gained popularity, eventually making its way onto menus worldwide.

warm goat cheese salad

In Paris, I find myself ordering this a lot during the spring season. It’s the time of year that I really start craving a crisp salad again, but having the warm goat cheese still brings that much needed layer of cozy comfort during the spring chill.

The Popularity and Appeal of A Baked Goat Cheese Salad

What sets a warm, or baked, goat cheese salad apart from other salads is its ability to balance contrasting elements with finesse.

The creamy tanginess of the baked goat cheese contrasts beautifully with the crisp freshness of the greens, while the addition of toasted bread adds a delightful crunch.

slices of bread on wooden board

This harmony of flavors and textures has earned this salad a dedicated following among food enthusiasts and gourmands alike, making it a perennial favorite on restaurant menus and home kitchens alike.

It’s also incredibly simple to make and doesn’t require a ton of ingredients; which is always a perk when you’re looking for a meal that’s delicious but not too fussy.

What You Need for this Salad

With just a handful of ingredients, this salad manages to pack a punch of flavor and sophistication. The creamy richness of the goat cheese, when warmed, becomes a luxurious indulgence that elevates the entire dish.

That’s why, other than the goat cheese, all you need to make this salad are:

  • Gem lettuce or romaine lettuce
  • 1-2 slices of artisan bread
  • A few chopped walnuts
  • A little mayo
  • A little dijon mustard
  • A bit of garlic
  • White wine vinegar
  • A splash of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • and honey!

Most of these items are pantry/fridge staples, making it pretty easy to whip this salad recipe up. The key is to get a quality piece of chèvre, a.k.a. goat cheese.

Trader Joe's Chevre with Honey

And that can really depend on your taste, as some people like a milder tasting cheese and others like something more pronounced. If you find yourself in the mild camp, the Trader Joe’s “goat cheese with honey” log is really nice.

For stronger flavors, I recommend heading to somewhere like Whole Foods, where you’re more likely to find a cheese selection that includes authentic French cheeses imported from France.

What Compliments Goat Cheese

While the warm goat cheese salad shines on its own, it also makes for a delightful accompaniment to a variety of dishes.

French Lentil Soup with Spinach: a comforting French soup that's hearty and delicious! Recipe via MonPetitFour.com

If I’m enjoying the salad as an accompaniment or starter, I make half the amount shared here and pair it with a hearty soup like a French lentil soup. It’s really satisfying and you’re not overlapping too much cheese or bread anywhere.

Warm Goat Cheese Salad with Honey

If you enjoy this salad on it’s own, be sure not skip the honey part (even if you’re using the Trader Joe’s honey goat cheese!).

The drizzle of honey makes this salad become a symphony of sweet and savory notes that dance on the palate with each bite.

warm goat cheese salad

Warm Goat Cheese Salad Recipe

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

A crisp salad dressed in a French vinaigrette and served with crunchy artisan bread and creamy, baked goat cheese on top.

Ingredients

  • 1 little gem lettuce or half of a head of Romaine lettuce
  • 1 small round of creamy goat cheese
  • 1-2 slice of artisan sliced bread or sourdough bread
  • 3 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp mayonaise
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 a small clove garlic, minced
  • Citrus vinegar or white wine vinegar + a splash of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Honey

Instructions

  1. Begin by creating the dressing. Whisk the mayonnaise, mustard, and garlic together. If you're using non-citrus vinegar, then just add a tiny squeeze of lemon juice to give a citrus flavor to the dressing. Now, stream in the vinegar a teaspoon at a time until you create a consistency in which you can actually pour the dressing over the salad greens. Season with a pinch of freshly ground salt and pepper. Temporarily set aside.
  2. Chop up the lettuce, wash and either pat dry with a paper towel or spin dry with a salad spinner. Pour the lettuce into a serving bowl and top with the chopped walnuts.
  3. Cover a small baking sheet with a sheet of foil and place 1 or 2 bread slices on the sheet. Now, horizontally slice a small round of goat cheese in half straight through the middle, splitting the goat cheese into two halves. Place each half on a slice of bread. If you're using a log, simply slice off two rounds from the log.
  4. Warm the bread and cheese in a toaster oven or regular oven at 350°F until the bread is toasted and the cheese is soft.
  5. Pour the salad dressing over the greens and walnuts, then top the salad with your toasted bread and cheese. Drizzle a little bit of honey over the goat cheese and serve.

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