A hot disk of tangy goat cheese set on a tangle of frisée is one of the glories of the bistro kitchen. So is a salad of vinegary greens tossed with rich cubes of bacon. At Angèle in Napa, Christophe Gerard marries the two classics in one unforgettable dish.
Terrific Green Salads
3 ounces thickly sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons walnut oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 slices of country bread
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, softened
Two 3 1/2-ounce round goat cheeses, such as Crottin de Chavignol, halved
1/2 pound frisée lettuce (8 cups)
1/4 cup minced chives
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a skillet, fry the bacon over moderate heat until crisp, 6 minutes. Pour off the fat. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to the bacon and cook until evaporated.
In a small bowl, whisk the grapeseed oil with the remaining 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, the walnut oil and mustard and season with salt and pepper.
On a baking sheet, spread the bread with the butter. Bake for 6 minutes, or until golden. Top each toast with a cheese half. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until the cheese is warmed and soft.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the frisée, bacon, chives and vinaigrette. Mound the salad on plates and set a goat cheese toast alongside. Grind some pepper over the cheese and serve.
The tangy flavors in this salad overpower most whites, but are well matched by a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. Opt for a French Sancerre from the Loire.
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