French Bistros are famous for their loaded salads. This one is made with hot goat cheese toasts served straight from the oven, with honeyed walnuts, pickled shallot and a French vinaigrette on a heap of fresh greens. You can serve these as individual salads, or on a large serving platter to share.
With this French Bistro Salad you can imagine yourself sitting on a Parisian terrace on a hot summer night, glass of cold white wine in one hand, perhaps the hand of a lover in the other, watching the stylish citizens of the city of love.
The French do life so well. They work hard, yes, but the joie de vivre is everywhere - they take the small moments as opportunities to have fun, to enjoy their life, and this of course, means enjoying their food.
They make even the simplest salads taste incredible, and this is an example of how good, fresh ingredients can work together to make a wonderful fresh and healthy meal. The goat cheese melts on the crisp baguette and is complemented perfectly by the sweet honey walnuts (that become almost toffee like under the grill) and the tang of the pickled shallots. This is a dinner you'll enjoy.
What is in this French Bistro Salad?
- Baguette - you can use long bread rolls if you can't find baguette.
- Goat cheese - you can use marinated or a roll of chevre.
- Baby tomatoes
- Oakleaf lettuce (or other soft lettuce like lambs lettuce or watercress).
- Shallots, red wine vinegar, salt and sugar for the pickling liquid.
- White wine vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey, salt and pepper for the dressing.
Top tips when preparing this French Bistro Salad
Two things can go wrong when making a salad like this.
- Make sure you don't burn the toasts under the grill - every grill is different, so keep checking on the toasts every 20 seconds or so when grilling.
- Don't dress the salad until you are about to eat - that way soggy leaves can be avoided.
- Vegetarian - This recipe is vegetarian.
- Dairy Free - Swap the Goat Cheese for Dairy Free Cheese spread.
- Gluten Free - Use gluten free bread rolls.
- Kids may prefer their salad deconstructed, and without dressing. Serve them tomatoes, avocados, chickpeas and goat cheese toasts separately.
You will need a baking tray and grill.
More French Recipes
French Bistro Salad
- 2 shallots
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 baguette
- 200 g goats cheese
- ½ cup walnuts
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 1 pinch salt and pepper
- 1 oakleaf lettuce
- 200 g cherry tomatoes
- 400 g chickpeas (1 x 400g can)
- 1 avocado medium
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- Preheat oven grill to 200 C (400 F).
- Peel and finely slice shallot, then place in a small bowl with red wine vinegar and sugar. Set aside to pickle.2 shallots, ¼ cup red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoon sugar
- Slice baguette and place on a baking tray, then top with slices of goats cheese. You should have about three slices of baguette topped with goats cheese per serve. Add walnuts between bread, drizzle honey over everything and season with salt and pepper. Put under the grill and set a timer for 5 minutes.1 baguette, 200 g goats cheese, ½ cup walnuts, 2 tablespoon honey, 1 pinch salt and pepper
- This is a loaded salad, you can either build it on individual plates or a large platter (but preferably not a bowl). Rinse lettuce, pull off leaves and pile on the individual plates or platter.1 oakleaf lettuce
- Slice cherry tomatoes in half and add to the salad.200 g cherry tomatoes
- Drain and rinse chickpeas and add to the salad.400 g chickpeas
- Peel and slice avocado and add to the salad.1 avocado
- Create a dressing of olive oil, honey, mustard, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir and dress the salad.If you are making it on a big platter wait until you’ve served the salad to dress it.3 tablespoon olive oil, 2 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar, 1 pinch salt and pepper
- Once the baguette slices are browned, take the tray out of the oven and top the salad with slices of goats cheese baguette, honeyed walnuts, and pickled shallot.