Saturday, January 21, 2017

{Taste of Paris}: Warm Goat Cheese Salad

Recently back from my winter getaway, the memories are still quite vibrant.  So much so, it feels like I can reach out and touch them.  And my travels are as much a food diary, as they are cultural and recreational indulgences.

It's no secret that Paris is one of my most favorite places (if not the) in the world.  And spending time there again this month only cemented this sentiment further.  It was the last leg of an amazing mini European tour of sorts, beginning in Rome, followed by Florence, and finally culminating in the City of Lights.  The holiday spirit was still very much alive in each city making for an extra special bonus aura.

My last full day in Paris found me in the well-regarded Saint-Germain-des-Pres of the 6th arrondissement (how Paris classifies its neighborhoods).  Emerging from the Metro, I walked the short block to settle in at the famous Cafe de Flore for some lunch vittles.  Sips of warm cappuccino, friendly banter, a few obligatory photo opps, and a scrumptious warm goat cheese salad later, I was satiated and ready to take on a quick stroll along the cobblestone streets.

The salad was a simple, yet elegant, bite that makes for French food at its best.  Almost immediately upon my return home, I took to my kitchen to recreate it with my own twist.

I was introduced to warm goat cheese salad many years ago by Ina Garten, and it instantly became a favorite of mine. I've even served it at dinner parties to wow friends and guests.  That preparation is slightly different, so perhaps I'll share it in a future post.  Either way, this salad will forever remain a staple in my cooking and entertaining repertoires--and a cherished taste of Paris.

Happy Eating!

Warm Goat Cheese Salad
4 oz. herbed goat cheese
4-6 slices of sourdough bread
Mixed salad greens
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Kosher salt
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Honey, for drizzling
Fresh thyme, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Slice the goat cheese log into individual rounds.  Place the bread on a baking sheet and season lightly with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt. Place a slice of goat cheese on each piece of bread and bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cheese is warm, soft and gooey to the touch.

To serve, toss the salad greens with some of the vinaigrette to moisten.  Divide the greens among lunch plates and place the goat cheese toasts on each.  Finish with freshly ground black pepper, a drizzle of honey, and sprig of thyme.  Enjoy!

Adapted from Ina Garten

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