Friday, January 4, 2013

Green Salad with Crumbled Chèvre, and Walnuts in a Sweet Dijon Vinaigrette

One thing I really wanted to do for Christmas was utilize some of the delicious sounding recipes from Miyoko Schinner’s book “Artisan Vegan Cheese.” For me, holiday celebrations are the best and most practical time for me to make recipes like this. Since these recipes always tend to make a lot, and since my husband was never a fan of dairy cheese - and thus not a fan of vegan cheese either - it’s far to much for me to make these recipes just for myself. I’d never be able to eat it all, and truth be told I wouldn’t want to eat an entire pound of cheese anyway, even if it is vegan cheese.

There are so many great sounding recipes in this book that I really wanted to try that it was really difficult to try and decide what ones I wanted to make first. I thought long and hard about what would make a great party cheese plate, and then thought about what kind of cheese I’d like to eat. Eventually I settled on three cheeses in particular but for now I’m only going to talk about the Chèvre. Back when I was still a dairy eater, I loved goat cheese, and so this recipe really intrigued me. Overall I think it turned out really well, although next time I think I’ll use a bit less lemon juice and age it a tad less as well because it came out tasting very tart, and overall it was very strong. At the party I served it on a platter with crackers along with the Aged Cheddar - also from the book - and a Raw Christmas Cheese Ball - More on this later - that I made and It went over really well, even with the omnivores who thought it was delicious, and couldn’t believe that I’d actually made it from scratch.

The problem came after Christmas was over and I realized I still had half a brick of Chèvre left in my fridge. I’m not the cheese and crackers type really, so I’m not about to sit around and eat it all up in that way, and it’s been so long since I’ve had any use for cheese of any kind that I wasn’t quite sure what else to do with it. Eventually I decided on giving half of what I had left to my dear twin brother E, because I knew he would enjoy it. As it turns out he did enjoy it, and he gave me a great idea for how to use up the rest of what I had left. Crumbled on top of salad with walnuts, and a Dijon Vinaigrette. Of course! And how simple, I can’t believe it hadn’t occurred to me.

So a couple of days ago I got thee to my kitchen and threw together this super tasty and ridiculously simple salad.

Green Salad with Crumbled Chèvre, and Walnuts in a Sweet Dijon Vinaigrette

1 C Baby Spinach
1 C Chopped Romaine Lettice
1 Ripe Anjou Pear sliced thin
½ C Dried Cranberries
1 Large Ripe Tomato Diced
½ C Raw Walnuts
1/4 C Sliced Green Onions
1/3 C Crumbled Vegan Chèvre (Preferably homemade using the Artisan Vegan Cheese Recipe!)


1 Tbsp Agave Nectar
1 ½  Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Hemp Seed Oil
1-2 Garlic Cloves
2 Tbsp Water
Sea salt and Black Pepper to taste

- Combine all salad ingredients - except Chèvre -  in a bowl and mix thoroughly to combine. Top with crumbled Chèvre.

- Combine all dressing ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Roughly 1 minute. Taste and adjust flavor as needed.

- Drizzle dressing over salad and enjoy!

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