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Chevre au Chaud (Hot Goats Cheese Salad)

This is a very simple, yet sophisticated salad that comes from the Franco-Suisse Border.  My mate Al raves about this dish and with good reason, as it is a beauty.  The great thing about this dish is all the ingredients really slot together and compliment each other.  I've include fig in this recipe which is a bit of a seasonal treat in the UK, I find them in the shops around Christmas and summer, but if you can't get them don't worry.  Instead of figs I sometimes just caramalise a bit of red onion with balsamic vinegar which seems to work really well, alternatively my dad chops a bit of beetroot on which is also good.  Alasdair recommends fig chutney, if you can find it. I reckon this dish is pretty awesome for lunch or as a starter, although Al (who is from Geneva) eats this as a snack, but he is pretty big.

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Goats Cheese, (There's lots of different kinds out there, try and avoid hard waxy varieties and soft 'logs', your looking for something with a bit of rind on the outside, soft outer cheese and a harder cheese in the middle, like a Bucheron)

2 Figs

Handful of Pine nuts / Walnuts

Bread, French baguette or ciabatta are good

Couple of handfuls of Mixed leaf salad. (Herb salad works really well, if you can get it, just chop a bit of fresh chive, coriander and parsley into your leaf)

Glug of Olive oil

Splash of Red Wine Vinegar

Spoon of Wholegrain Mustard

Spoon of Honey

Salt and Pepper


Serves: 2

Vegetarian: Yes

Cooking time: 20 mins

Level: Easy


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OK, your going to start by slicing up that bread into neat little circles/squares, making them nice and thin, no doorstops.  (Usually your goats cheese is a circle so its kind of cool to maybe place your goats cheese on the bread and cut round so its all nice and uniform).



Then lightly toast them. 


Place a bit of fig on the goats cheese, drizzle some honey over, bit of olive oil and pepper (if using onions/beetroot don't bother with honey)



Stick these back under the grill until the goats cheese is browned nicely and the fig and honey have melted in.


While your cheese and toast stacks are under the grill get a good frying pan and DRY fry a handful of pine nuts until they turn brown (you'll know when they are done as they will emit a really pleasant toasty smell.  If you're using walnuts, you won't need to do this.)



Knock up a quick Vinaigrette- bit of red wine vinegar, oil, salt and pepper fundamentally, but you can add mustard, honey, lemon, thyme, dill tips, whatever you want.


So, when your pine nuts are toasted and the goats cheese grilled to perfection, get out a good sized plate and arrange your salad, sprinkle over the pine nuts and place your goats cheese toast stacks on the salad, drizzle over the Vinaigrette, a bit more honey and if you want, add a few more figs.

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