Saturday, September 16, 2006

Chèvre Chaud

My friend is waiting for me, looking into a gift shop window. We kiss each other’s cheeks and silently admire the flourishing ivy growing in boxes in front of the teahouse. In the somber passage where the light always falls as if we are in a forest, the vines quietly and thoughtfully climb. Before we enter the teahouse, we unwrap our scarves together and check to see through the window that our regular table is ready. The handle pulls down, the door pushes in, and a bell quietly chimes. The lady who sits at the desk in the afternoons waits for us to shed our outdoor clothing, ushers us to our seats, and we are ready. I glance through the stone arched door with the curtain in the back and see a quiet movement against the creamy yellow cabinets of the kitchen. This place is not really a place for small talk. It is a place where we must discuss. Something in the stones demands it. Our salad and dessert will be followed by pot after pot of hot nourishing tea.

Salade de Chèvre Chaud avec sa Vinaigrette au Poivre Vert

Take a flavorful chèvre like the Picodon or Pélardon, and slice it into 6 wedges. Split each of the wedges in half along the center. Choose a quarter of a good round loaf of substantial bread, like Richard’s pain ligerien, pain de campagne, or a pain au noix. Slice it into flat triangles and toast the bread triangles briefly in the oven to make them crisp but not too brown. Wash & dry your lettuce or mixed greens, herbs of your choosing, wedge some garden tomatoes, thinly slice an onion, peel a shallot, and crack 8 walnuts. Make a sauce vinaigrette with the blender using one whole shallot, a rounded teaspoon of brined green peppercorns, ½ a teaspoon of salt, olive sunflower and walnut oil, and plain simple cider vinegar to taste. Place the wedges of cheese on the toast with the crust of the cheese facing up. Put them in the hot oven to slightly melt and brown the cheese. Arrange the salad ingredients in a bowl. Give the salad a first drizzle of vinaigrette. When the cheese is adequately soft on the toasts, place them on the salad, drizzle again with vinaigrette plus a light dusting of sea salt or fleur de sel, and serve.

If you have any cheese toasts leftover, offer them to your companion with a little more green peppercorn vinaigrette on top as a gesture of friendship.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such wonderful photographs throughout your blog--they look like they belong in Saveur magazine. (And it helps that the food looks good, too!)--Sarah

4:48 PM, September 16, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That looks like you could reach into the screen and eat it. Fantastic site! I've recently set my own up (I'm in the UK) and yours is very inspirational.

7:02 PM, September 16, 2006  
Blogger Fabienne said...

The hot goat cheese is so delicious !

9:57 PM, September 16, 2006  
Blogger wheresmymind said...

we loved having warm Chevre on toast with our salads when we were in France :)

6:22 PM, September 17, 2006  
Blogger Jann said...

what a great recipe.thanks!

11:37 PM, September 17, 2006  
Blogger Francine said...

This is hands down my favourite entree when we eat out :) Your blog makes me want to start really cooking again! My husband (a French foodie) is usually in charge in the kitchen, but maybe I'll start surprising him every so often!

2:16 PM, September 20, 2006  
Blogger Micaela said...

I loved the vinaigrette! Thanks so much for sharing an excellent recipe.

4:15 PM, September 05, 2008  
Blogger L Vanel said...

I am so happy you liked it!

6:30 PM, September 05, 2008  

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