One of my favorite salads is a salad de chèvre chaud - a warm French goat cheese salad with butter lettuce topped with crunchy grilled bread and goat cheese, thinly sliced pears, and champagne vinaigrette.
We're adding a unique twist on this salad as a nod to one of my favorite Aspen restaurant's iconic dishes by using a spicy honey to top our salad, just like the French Alpine Bistro in Aspen, Colorado. This salad is modeled after their Salade de Chèvre Chaud, so while it is a French dish, it has a uniquely Colorado kick with the addition of a spicy honey that we think takes it over the top!
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Warm French Goat Cheese Salad
While this salad's French name might sound intimidating, it shouldn't scare you - it is incredibly simple and easy to prepare.
We're using fresh and crisp butter lettuce as a base, with thinly shaved pears, a spicy honey, and warm croutons topped with grilled goat cheese served with a champagne vinaigrette.
I hope you love this easy salad as much as I do!
Check out the web story on this amazing salad.
How to Make Salade de Chèvre Chaud
- Butter lettuce -
- Pear - thinly sliced pear brings a lightly sweet, earthy, and crisp flavor to this salad that is subtle without dominating the palate with sugar.
- Honey with chilies - sweet and spicy, honey infused with chilies gives this salad a sticky, spicy kick that is addictive. I like to serve the salad with honey in a small cup on the side so you can dress as you go and be sure to have just the right amount of honey drizzled over your crunchy, salty bread!
- Sourdough bread - sourdough bread that is tangy, sturdy, and a bit salty is perfect in this recipe - it will be griddled to make a crunchy crouton that we will brown goat cheese on. If you don't have sourdough on hand, opt for a crusty French bread - I don't reccomend breads with strong herbs baked in them as the flavors in this salad are very mild and delicate and it will overpower them.
- Olive oil - we will be using olive oil to brush over our bread and grill or griddle it to get it extra crispy and crunchy, the perfect base for warmed chèvre!
- Chèvre - opt for a high quality chèvre you love - chèvre won't necessarily melt, but will brown and get warm and lovely when grilled on top of bread.
- Champagne vinaigrette - this light, earthy, slightly tangy dressing is a simple to prepare classic and perfect dressing for warm goat cheese salad.
- Fresh cracked pepper - pepper loses it's pungent flavor and heat quickly after grinding, so we recommend using freshly cracked pepper if possible.
We will start by butting bread to make croutons, then oiling them and grilling to make them crispy and crunchy, and finally topping them with goat cheese which we will cook to warm and lightly browned.
While the bread and cheese warms, we will wash the butter lettuce and dry it, thinly slice pears and add them to the lettuce in a large bowl. Add honey and champagne vinaigrette to the bowl, top with warm croutons and fresh pepper, and dress, drizzling honey all over the bread and cheese, and spooning champagne vinaigrette over everything.
Then dig in while its still warm!
Tips and Tricks to Perfect Warm Goat Cheese Salad
Grill croutons to your preference. If you like extra crunchy bread, like I do, go for a darker brown bread on the grill or griddle - if you like a bit more of a chewier bite, grill it less. It is entirely up to you.
Use a grill, indoor grill, pan, or griddle. This recipe is super adaptable - use whatever you have available to you - whether it's a grill, stovetop, griddle pan, or indoor grill. I've recently been using an indoor Ninja grill all the time and am addicted to how easy it is to use, clean up, and how it doesn't give off much smoke - but has the flavor of outdoor grills!
If you can't find Mike's hot honey, or another brand of spicy honey you love, mix ⅛ tablespoon aleppo pepper with honey to create your own for this recipe.
No - this is a decidedly Colorado twist of a French salad, based off the classic salad at Aspen's French Alpine Bistro, a cozy European cafe that opened in 2011 and has become a favorite ever since!
Lardons of bacon, prosciutto, pancetta, or grilled chicken all work beautifully in this salad if you would like a heartier dish.
What to Serve With This Salad
For more easy salad recipe ideas, check out some of our favorites below:
Salade de Chèvre Chaud Recipe
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This light French salad has a warm goat cheese grilled bread over butter lettuce and thinly sliced pears; dressed with spicy honey and champagne vinaigrette just like the famous salad at the French Alpine Bistro in Aspen, Colorado.
- 2 cups butter lettuce, washed
- ½ pear, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons honey with chilies (or use aleppo pepper, below, to make your own)
- ¼ teaspoon aleppo pepper (if you can't find hot honey)
- 6 slices sourdough bread
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 4 oz chevre
- 4 tablespoons champagne vinaigrette
- ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
- Preheat griddle pan or grill to medium high.
- Brush bread with olive oil and griddle one side until lightly browned.
- Remove bread and spread goat cheese on each slice.
- Add bread back to griddle or grill and toast until cheese is soft and bread is golden brown.
- In a small bowl, mix honey and aleppo pepper.
- Add butter lettuce to bowl with pears.
- Top with griddled goat cheese bread.
- Drizzle honey over lettuce, pears, and bread.
- Dress with champagne vinaigrette.
- Serve immediately.
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Mike's Hot Honey 10 oz Easy Pour Bottle (1 Pack), Honey with a Kick, Sweetness & Heat, 100% Pure Honey, Shelf-Stable, Gluten-Free & Paleo, More than Sauce - it's Hot Honey
Ninja AG301 Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill with Air Fry, Roast, Bake & Dehydrate, Black/Silver
Partanna Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 101-Ounce Tin
Amount Per Serving Calories 888Total Fat 28gSaturated Fat 11gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 26mgSodium 1759mgCarbohydrates 129gFiber 7gSugar 34gProtein 32g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.