Strange things going on around here. I’m back in t-shirts. We’ve had a second l’été indien with temperatures near 75 the past week, and they’re just now starting to drop.
Which is fine by me. I’ve got a few months of soup-making ahead of me, so it’s nice to have a little switchback.
Now if I were the sort to sit and lounge at lunch at my favorite corner bistro, this is what I’d probably order, the salade chèvre chaud, a simple green lettuce salad, with some version of melty goat cheese on top. Most often is goat cheese on toast (Poilâine, if you’re lucky) or a piece of a baguette, but some places wrap the goat cheese in brick, which as you can see, is just a leeetle different from what we think of when we say brick.
This “brick” is a very thin pastry dough, but one that’s thicker than filo, and really easy to work with. Comes 10 to a package at the stinky Franprix (or anywhere, just about) and costs about a buck.
I’ve not done much with this before, but I was in the mood for this salad, so I figured, cheese, dough, how hard can this be?
Not at all, turns out.
Sadly, I was out of my friend Sandy’s fresh basil goat cheese, so I decided to make my own, by adding a little basil leaf to the top of the goat cheese – so pretty! Also, in a fallish twist, I threw some fresh pears and toasted walnuts in, too, because nothing says fall like pears and walnuts, if you ask me.
Plus I just felt like this salad needed a little extra something, you know?
I told X that bacon would’ve worked nicely, too, but we didn’t have any, and I wasn’t in the mood to go back to the Franprix at 6, when there’s usually only one person working the three cash registers and the line snakes past the toothpaste and into the paper towels. (BTW, the Franprix isn’t always so unwelcoming. Mid-morning, when no one’s in the store, there’s someone behind all three cash registers and never a line.)
Crispy wrapped packets of chèvre, toasty walnuts and sweet pears…bonjour, my new favorite fall salad.
Salade Chèvre Chaud with Pears and Walnuts
Makes 2 dinner-size salads
- 5 ½ ounces/150 grams of fresh chèvre, cut into 4 discs about 1/4-inch thick
- 4 small fresh basil leaves
- 4 sheets of brick pastry (or you may use a couple of sheets of filo)
- about 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 head of romaine lettuce, sliced into 1-inch strips
- a big handful of arugula
- 2 small pears, cut into 1-inch pieces (I like Comice)
- ¼ cup of walnuts, roughly chopped
- E-Z French vinaigrette, from my cookbook
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C and line a small cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. Roll each of the discs of chèvre in one of the sheets of brick and lightly brush the inside with olive oil so it’ll stick together as you do so. Place on the cookie sheets and pop into the oven for about 10 minutes or until the corners start to brown.
3. While the chèvre is baking, toss the romaine, arugula, and pears in a large bowl with a couple of tablespoons of E-Z French Vinaigrette. Divide between two plates, add the chèvre, and top with toasted walnuts. Easy!