GOAT CHEESE SALAD WITH FRIED BAGUETTE
(SALADE AU FROMAGE DE CHÈVRE AVEC CROÛTONS FRITS)
Note: In France, the fresh goat cheese for this salad would be medium-dry, or about two weeks old (unlike brand new cheese which would be shedding moisture), and sold in 4- or 5-inch rounds that look like hockey pucks. In the Twin Cities, goat cheese is usually sold in "logs." Recipe adapted from "A Pig in Provence," by Georgeanne Brennan, and with thanks to Laurence Testa, at La Ferme du Mas Rolland.
• 2 slices of baguette
• Extra-virgin olive oil
• Minced garlic
• Red wine vinegar
• Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
• About 11/2 oz. slice of goat cheese (see Note)
• Mixed greens (escarole, frisée, leaf lettuce or arugula)
• Tomato slice (in season only!)
Fry slices of baguette in a little extra-virgin olive oil seasoned with some minced garlic.
Make a vinaigrette using 3 parts olive oil to 1 part red wine vinegar, season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Whisk with a fork.
Put goat cheese under broiler and remove as soon as it begins to melt slightly around the edges.
Toss the greens with the vinaigrette. Heap on a plate. Place fried baguette on top of the greens. Add a slice of tomato. Slip the warm goat cheese on top. Try to include all three elements of the salad in each forkful.