During the colder winter months, I find it difficult to want to eat lighter fare such as fresh salad greens. My body craves thick, hearty stews and soups, and rich, starchy things like potatoes and squash. However, this gem, adapted from Rachel Khoo (an English chef based in Paris), makes for a nice happy medium between the completely raw salad dishes I love during the summer, and the warm winter root veggies that I love for those brisk winter days. We ate this salad for a week straight because I love it so much!
Winter Salad with Goat Cheese Mousse
For two for dinner you will need (or four as a starter):
4 carrots (I used yellow and orange, but purple makes a beautiful presentation too!)
1/2 a beetroot (I used Chiogga and Golden, for color) – I prefer my beets pre-cooked, but you can do raw as well.
2 dessert apples – You can select to cook these or keep them raw. Keep reading!
2 tbsp sunflower oil
100 g lardons or thickly cut smoked bacon2 handful of frisee salad, or any salad of your choice
For the mousse:
100g Selles-sur-Cher cheese (goats cheese coated in edible ash, but any soft goats cheese could work)
4 tbsp milk
125 ml whipping cream
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper
Peel and cut the carrots and parsnips so they are similarly sized (for even cooking). If you are cooking your apples, core and slice the apples as well, and prepare with the carrots and parsnips. Coat all the pieces with a little bit of sunflower oil and lightly salt, then roast in a 400 F oven for about 30 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Put aside.
While the vegetables are roasting, fry your bacon and drain on paper towels, then break into nice sized “bits”. If you chose to keep the apples and beets raw, you would now slice them thinly and set aside. If your beets are cooked, you can slice them into slightly thicker pieces.
Prepare the mousse. First, whip your whipping cream until it form a nice, thick whipped cream. Separately, mix the goat’s cheese with the milk, then fold the whipped cream into the mixture until it is well blended (do not over-mix!) and spoon the mixture into a piping bag. Put in the fridge to chill.
Next, mix the vinaigrette – I like to just put everything in a screwtop glass jar and shake until emulsified.
Finally, arrange your salad. Start with salad greens, then arrange the root vegetables and apples on the bed of greens. Fill in the gaps with little mounds of goat cheese, then add some bacon bits, and finally, drizzle with vinaigrette. Et voila! That’s the dish.