This warm goat cheese salad, made with baguette, goat cheese, baby greens, and a simple honey, olive oil, and white balsamic vinaigrette, is perfect for entertaining.
This warm goat cheese salad recipe is essentially just slices of baguette slathered with goat cheese, baked to toasty perfection, and accompanied by a simple green salad with a can’t-mess-it-up vinaigrette. It’s not only a French classic but what we refer to as honest entertaining.–Renee Schettler Rossi
LC Simple Is As Simple Does Note
The underlying philosophy behind this warm goat cheese salad recipe is that simple is as simple does. And by that we mean the beauty of it lies in its pure flavors and juxtaposition of bubbly, creamy cheese with the uber crisp toast and the vinaigrette-slicked lettuce. That said, some of us appreciate simplicity more than others. Folks who require quite a lot of hoopla happening on their plate may wish to scatter a handful of fresh herbs into the salad. As for us, all we have to say when asked about this salad is, “oui.” (That’s French for “yes, please.”)
Warm Goat Cheese Salad
For the goat cheese toasts
- 4 slices baguette each 1/4 to 1/2 inch (6 to 12 mm) thick
- 4 slices chèvre (goat cheese) each 1/4 to 1/2 inch (6 to 12 mm) thick
- Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
For the salad
- 1 head butter or bibb lettuce or several handfuls baby greens or even arugula or baby spinach
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Make the goat cheese toasts
- Preheat the oven to 475°F (250°C).
- Place the bread on a baking sheet. Place a slice of chèvre on each piece of bread and drizzle with a touch of olive oil. Bake until the edges of the bread are golden brown and the cheese appears a little puffed and molten, 3 to 5 minutes. Keep a careful watch over the bread as it will go from perfectly done to scorched in seconds. Let cool slightly. If desired, gently smooth the cheese evenly over the surface of the bread with a knife.
Make the salad
- Rinse the lettuce or baby greens and dry in a salad spinner or with a clean towel.
- Combine all the ingredients for the dressing right in the salad bowl. Add the lettuce or baby greens and gently toss.
Assemble the plate
- Divvy the salad among individual plates and top with the warm goat cheese toasts. Serve immediately.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
WOW. This warm goat cheese salad recipe is the PERFECT fast weeknight dinner that will satisfy any occasion. I used a gluten-free baguette for this recipe. I made the mistake of buying chèvre with herbs instead of plain chèvre, but I’m actually glad I did, as it worked beautifully. I sort of messed up as I was cutting the cheese, so I ended up spreading it on the bread with a thickness of about 1/8 inch. I loved the end result of sweetness, saltiness, and healthfulness. This can easily become a meal in itself for 2 people or an appetizer for a fancy dinner party.
Sometimes I need a reminder that the simplest things in life can be outstanding. It’s amazing what a few minutes in the oven can do to simple cheese and bread. This warm goat cheese salad recipe was perfect. The goat cheese was warm and creamy and just the right complement to the slightly crunchy bread. I added a drizzle of honey to the toasts, which took them from delicious to sublime. The tart dressing made the salad a refreshing addition to the toasts—or maybe the toasts were the just the added bit of richness that the salad needed. Either way, it was a perfect pairing. I made my toasts after I made the salad so they would still be a little warm when we ate. We would have liked the bread just a touch crunchier. Next time I might broil the plain bread until it’s just getting toasty, turn it over, top it with goat cheese and the drizzle of oil, and broil the second side. I used about 4 ounces lettuce for 4 servings. I cut the goat cheese in slices about 1/2 inch thick, and I crumbled it with my fingers to top the bread, which I also cut in slices about 1/2 inch thick. I kept the dressing separate from the salad, letting each person dress his salad to his tastes at the table. We had a lot of dressing left over. I think it would have been too much for the amount of lettuce I had. I added another teaspoon of honey to the dressing after tasting it, as I like my dressing on the sweeter side.
This warm goat cheese salad recipe is perfectly simple…and perfect for anytime. This is a recipe where it’s really worth it to splurge on the ingredients. A fresh crusty baguette, special goat cheese, and tender greens are front and center in this salad. I would have loved to add some microgreens to the salad—if only my little neighborhood grocery had mache! I made this for a quick brunch, but it would be equally lovely as a late night snack. I’m always looking for a healthy bite with a touch of indulgence to feed my boyfriend when he comes home late after playing Broadway shows, and this is a winner. I’d suggest keeping a very close eye on these chèvre-topped baguette slices. They were done when the edges of the goat cheese were darker than the interior of the slices. Not quite browned but…beige. That, and the baguette corners were nicely toasted.
This warm goat cheese salad recipe would be wonderful as either a side salad or a first course. It was quick to assemble and definitely sophisticated enough for company. I had the baguette primed on a baking sheet and ready to go in the oven when my guests arrived. The bibb lettuce was already in a bowl, and the dressing was made. I did add an additional 1 tablespoon olive oil to the dressing, as the equal parts vinegar to oil was too tangy for my crowd. But we loved the sweetness the honey provided. I cut the baguette slices and the goat cheese 1/2 inch thick. I spread the goat cheese around on the baguette slightly, just enough to cover the entire slice. The toasts were done when the edges were slightly browned. We loved the crisp bread and the creamy goat cheese with the salad. This seemed like a simple salad, but the goat cheese toasts made it irresistible! I’ll definitely be making this recipe again.
The only resolution I set for myself in 2015 is to try new foods, goat cheese being one of them (its smell turned me off on previous occasions). This warm goat cheese salad recipe gave me a chance to check off at least part of my resolution (there are still many foods to try on my list). The ingredients for the salad were easily accessible, and it was very easy to prepare and assemble the entire dish. I drizzled the cheese with the salad dressing upon serving it. The dish was very delicate and filling, although my husband asked if there were any seconds of the goat cheese toasts.
This wonderful warm goat cheese salad recipe is a jumping-off point for even more delightful renditions. Add some dried cranberries, toasted pecans or walnuts, or a sprinkle of chives, and it is great. You could even throw some toasted croutons on top and sprinkle crumbled goat cheese over it instead of the baguette and cheese. I forgot to weigh the greens; I just added a handful of greens for each serving. I used some arugula from the garden and a torn head of red butter lettuce. It was perfect. The dressing comes together quickly and is spot-on. I can see adding some other ingredients—garlic, fresh scallions, and so on. This recipe makes a faintly sweet, piquant dressing that hits all the right spots but leaves enough room for elaboration if you so choose. My baguettes—from a home-baked attempt at a sourdough baguette—were sliced 1/4 inch thick, as was the cheese. Mine took a bit longer than the 3 minutes under the broiler, but I like my cheese really soft and almost melted (if that could ever happen!) rather than still holding the original round shape from the roll of cheese. If you want a perfect, beautiful, and delicious salad that is easier than easy, this is your go-to recipe!
This warm goat cheese salad makes a great starter or light meal. It’s very simple to prepare, and the warm goat cheese croutons turn a simple salad into a treat. My baguette was sliced between 1/3 and 1/2 inch thick. I had a small 4-ounce log of goat cheese, and I used 1 ounce for each salad. I used the broiler, and the goat cheese didn’t ever really brown for me, but it was nice and soft. Next time I might spread the goat cheese to the edge of the bread or crumble it up to cover more of the bread. Also, the bread was nice with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
I love the simplicity of this warm goat cheese salad. It can be a light lunch or served with dinner. There are few ingredients, and everything comes together super fast. My testers liked the lighter flavor the white balsamic vinegar gave the dressing, and the hint of honey accented it even further. I used a slightly peppery olive oil, which gave the dressing a little kick. I sliced my bread about 1/2 inch thick and put about 1/4 inch of goat cheese on it. The thicker slices took about 5 minutes to bake. We did think the goat cheese benefitted from some salt and pepper. Overall, a really nice dish.
Warm cheese, toasty bread, a lovely light dressing, a couple minutes prep, and a few minutes in the oven, and you have a special salad all ready to go! I used this warm goat cheese salad recipe as an opportunity to explore a couple of goat cheeses (chèvres). This recipe has lots of flexibility, both with the cheese and the salad components. For the cheeses, the first was a French goat Brie (“Brie Florette”) that was rich and dripping with deliciousness even before it went into the oven. The second was a more mature chèvre, a Spanish “Murcia Curado Mitica,” that was quite firm. My slice of Spanish chèvre was clean-cut and approximately 1/4 inch thick. The French chèvre was so loose and relaxed that the “slices” I cut did not hold their shape, so I cut several pieces and placed them side by side to fit the baguette I had cut at a severe angle in order to maximize the surface area for the cheese. I broiled both for 3 minutes. In both cases, the bread had browned along the edges. In the case of the French chèvre, the cheese did not brown but was warm and looser and nearly running off the bread. The Spanish chèvre did not change shape but became a luscious golden brown and was softer to the bite than it had been straight from the wrapper. Both worked splendidly with the baby spring mix I selected. Another cheese option would be an herbed or spiced chèvre, such as one rolled in black pepper or Herbes de Provence, covered in ash, or mixed with berries or honey. This could also be made with a spicier green, such as arugula, or a buttery, softer lettuce, such as bibb, or even plain spinach. I used 2 1/2 ounces of baby greens per serving. As for serving size, this makes a good amount for 4 salads but could easily be sized up or down. White balsamic vinegar was a new ingredient for me, and I very much liked its lightness in both look and taste. I think this salad could use a fruity addition, and anything from apples or pears to blueberries or strawberries could work, depending on the cheese and greens selected. This salad is a classy and simple winner and could easily become a regular at my house.
I love goat cheese. I love butter leaf lettuce. I love baguettes. Put it all together, and I love this 10-minute warm goat cheese salad recipe as a first-course salad. It looked classy and had a simple but sophisticated taste. A few notes. First, I used one head of butter leaf lettuce—4 1/2 ounces on my scale. This would make about 4 smallish appetizer plates or 2 lunch- or dinner-size salads. Second, baguettes are hard to come by here in Anchorage, so I purchased one that needed a little baking to complete. This was both good and bad. It came out of the oven smelling so delicious that I tried to slice it immediately. Whoops. Third, once the bread cooled a little, I cut slices in various sizes and slathered them with various amounts of goat cheese. There was no discernible difference between the size variations. Fourth, I wasn’t satisfied with how the cheese looked when I removed it from the oven, so I smoothed out the heated topping with a knife to make it appear less lumpy.
We enjoyed this warm goat cheese salad very much. The salad dressing is very simple but very good. I was leery as to how it was going to turn out, because although I generally make my vinaigrettes with a healthy proportion of acid to oil, I have never made one with equal parts vinegar and oil. I was pleasantly surprised by the result. I cut my baguette into 1/4-inch-thick slices. I covered the bread with slices of goat cheese and put them on my sheet pan lined with parchment paper. That’s where things got interesting. I put the sheet pan into the oven on the broil setting. After 2 minutes, I mentioned to my husband that there must be something spilled in the oven because I could smell something burning. I opened the oven. The visual cues that I needed to take the toasts out of the oven was that the parchment paper was completely burnt. The crusts of the bread were also burnt. The auditory cue that the slices were ready to come out of the oven was the smoke detector going off. Despite this little adventure, we enjoyed the salad very much. I put some more slices on a sheet pan, and put them in a 450°F oven for 8 minutes. The cheese got bubbly, but nothing burned and the smoke detector remained silent. Note: Unwaxed dental floss is fabulous for cutting slices of goat cheese.
Sign me up for anything that’s classified as simple French cooking! This warm goat cheese salad recipe is the epitome of just that—simple cooking methods, quality ingredients, and superb results. I used a multigrain baguette for this recipe, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. The goat cheese I found was herbed, which gave it a bit of extra tastiness. I used approximately 1 cup greens per salad. (I used a mixture of baby greens—spinach, kale, and arugula.) I liked the light sweetness of the dressing from the honey; a touch of Dijon mustard would be a nice addition as well. I loved this simple salad; I think it would pair wonderfully with roasted fish, Ina’s famous lemon chicken, and even serve as a great side for soup. I can see adding some sliced strawberries or blueberries to it in the summer, or some crisp pancetta or roasted beets in the fall. And don’t forget nuts! I love the combo of walnuts with goat cheese; any type of nut would be a nice crunch if added to the tender greens.
Originally published February 09, 2018
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
This is such a simple salad recipe that you might be tempted to dismiss it, but it makes a very elegant and pretty presentation, especially with baby greens. I was a little worried that the dressing would be on the sweet side with both the honey and the white balsamic, but they complement the tang of the chèvre and make the sum of the cheese and dressing greater than the parts. I made sure that the chèvre covered the entire top of the baguette slice. It took close to 5 minutes in the oven for the warm goat cheese toasts using an oven rack about 5 inches away from the element. The bread was golden around the edges with a few spots of gold on the cheese and had a lovely, slightly melted texture with almost a crust, which had a good mouthfeel. I sprinkled just a bit of Maldon sea salt on top, as well as a drop of dark honey, which plated nicely over the salad greens. This warm goat cheese salad recipe is a 10 because of how well the flavors work and just how dead easy it is to create.