There is something so fancy feeling about going to a French restaurant and ordering just a salad. The dressing is always incredible and they have beautiful ingredients that elevate the whole experience. I’m going to show you how to create that experience at home. So tell Alexa to play “La Vie en rose”, grab your baret and get ready for the yum!
For the goat cheese rounds
4oz herb goat cheese log (plain is fine too)
1 cup crushed pork rinds
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
pinch salt and pepper
For the French dressing (optional to make)
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp parsley, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme or 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Ideas for salad ingredients (these ingredients are all optional)
Nuts (almonds, walnuts or pecans), keto candied style optional
Fresh herbs (chervil, fennel fronds, parsley, thyme), chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Many parts of this recipe can be modified for ease. You do not need to make your own dressing, candied nuts or even crispy goat cheese rounds. You can absolutely just slice up the goat cheese or use crumbles. You can toss the salad in store bought dressing. You can throw in raw nuts. The salad will still be really wonderful. But as I mentioned earlier, I want to elevate this salad and it doesn’t take much longer to do all the steps. You can even make the candied nuts and goat cheese rounds ahead of time. No pressure but I really recommend you give it a try.
Let’s begin by making the goat cheese rounds:
Slice your goat cheese log into little disks. Beat the eggs in a small bowl. In another bowl, add the crushed pork rinds, parm cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well. Dunk a goat cheese round in the beaten eggs and then press into the breading mixture until coated on all sides. Repeat for all slices of goat cheese. Freeze for at least 1 hour or overnight. Remove from freezer and place on a lined, lightly oiled baking sheet.
Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
To make the dressing, simply put all ingredients in a mason jar. Shake until blended together. Done. Taste it to see if you want to add more salt or pepper. This is literally one of the most deliciously easy salad dressings ever and you will feel really fancy for making it.
To assemble the salad:
Mine included salad staples: cherry tomatoes, English cucumber and radishes. For greens, I had an arugula/baby spinach mix. Arugula has a wonderful pepperiness that brightens up the flavors. I remembered I had some roasted trumpet mushrooms from Whole Foods that I had been dying to use so I added those as well. Something that makes this type of salad really gorgeous and French feeling is the use of fresh herbs. I chopped up some parsley and fennel fronds. Would have loved to have some chervil on hand but that was not available at the store. Herbs transform the salad to a new heights. Do not use dried herbs because they tend to be more intense and will overpower your salad.
Also, I had made some Keto candied almonds earlier in the week and was kinda freaking out to be able to add them to the salad. You can find the recipe here:
But honestly, no pressure, regular almonds will still be delicious. Also, you could use walnuts or pecans. I wanted smaller pieces so I put the nuts in a ziplock bag and lightly crushed them with a rolling pin. But whole nuts are fine. It’s all fine.
Toss the salad ingredients in the dressing to preference. I like everything to be coated but not drenched. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste. Add more salt or pepper if needed. Top with the crispy goat cheese rounds.
You can serve this as is or with a protein. The day before I had roasted some salmon just in some olive oil and salt and pepper so it was the perfect addition to this salad. Chicken or shrimp would also be divine.