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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

TIP OF THE DAY: Salad With Goat Cheese

Salad with a creamy, fresh goat cheese
crottin, halved. Photo courtesy Vermont
Creamery, one of America’s greatest
producers of goat cheese. Read our review.

 

Whenever we see a goat cheese salad on a menu (chèvre is the French word), we order it.

Typically served with mesclun or frisée, sometime with beets, sometime with toasted walnuts or pecans, it’s one of our favorite foods. And it’s so easy to make.

We’ve hesitated to make it at home too often, because we love creamy, fresh goat cheese so much that an entire 10.5-ounce log can disappear at one meal.

But we devised a new strategy: Buy one or two crottins at a time.

A crottin (crow-TAHN) is a small, individual-size goat cheese shaped like a drum. But the name means something earthier in French: “dropping” or goat/horse dung.

Why stick a cheese with a name like that? As the crottin ages, it becomes dark and hard and bears a resemblance to the animal dropping. Mostly, though, it’s enjoyed when fresh or moderately aged, resembling only a delicious, drum-shaped cheese.

The small size makes a crottin, whole or halved, a popular pairing with a salad.

 

Crottin is the signature goat cheese shape of the Loire Valley; Crottin di Chavignol, an AOC-designated cheese, has been produced in and around the village of Chavignol since the 16th century.

MIX & MATCH GOAT CHEESE SALAD RECIPE INGREDIENTS

Use a crottin or a one-inch slice from a log of goat cheese. You can buy a plain log or one rolled in ash, herbs, peppercorns and other spices. Or, roll a plain log in the coating of your choice before slicing,

Cheese

  • Room temperature, plain or rolled in herbs, spices or chopped nuts
  • Warm cheese, baked plain or breaded in panko bread crumbs and fried (see footnote*)
  • Fresh or aged
  •  
    *To bake goat cheese: Preheat oven to 375°F. Season panko with a pinch of sea salt and add just enough olive oil to moisten. Roll cheese in crumbs; place cheese on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 5 to 8 minutes or until soft.

     

    Salad Greens

  • Arugula
  • Frisée
  • Mesclun
  • Spinach
  • Watercress
  •  

    Vegetables

  • Grilled vegetables
  • Portobello mushrooms (see recipe for Grilled Portobello Mushroom With Herbed Salad & Goat Cheese
  • Roasted beets (substitute canned sliced beets or whole baby beets)
  •  

     

    Goat cheese crottins aging. Photo courtesy Vermont Creamery.

     

    Fruits

  • Apple slices
  • Berries (especially blueberries and strawberries)
  • Figs, whole, halved or sliced
  • Pear slices
  • Melon slices (including watermelon)
  • Tomatoes: grape tomatoes, halved cherry tomatoes, quartered heirloom tomato wedges
  •  
    Nuts, Raw Or Toasted

  • Hazelnuts
  • Pecans
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts
  •  
    Dressing

  • Balsamic vinaigrette
  • Hazelnut or walnut oil vinaigrette with wine vinegar
  •  
    On The Side

  • Thinly-cut, toasted baguette slices
  •  
    WHY GOAT CHEESE IS GOOD FOR YOU

    Long considered an alternative for those with cow’s milk sensitivities, people who are lactose-intolerant (or otherwise have difficulty digesting milk products) can often enjoy goat cheese with impunity.

  • Goat’s milk is more digestible due to its smaller, naturally homogenized fat globules.
  • Goat’s milk also has a higher percentage of short- and medium-chain fatty acids than cow’s milk and is lower in cholesterol.
  • Goat cheese is higher in calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins A and B. Goat’s milk has virtually the same calories as cow’s milk.
  •  
    Here’s an overview of goat cheese and why it’s good for you, plus yummy recipes for goat cheese caramels and goat cheese fudge.

      





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