In my slightly undietetic mind, creamy salad dressing makes lettuce worth eating. I once knew a woman who ate naked salad and claimed it was because "she didn't like dressing." She was lying! To me, to herself, and to her itty-bitty waist. That's mind over matter. And her mind could run a marathon around mine.
Normally, I go for chunky blue cheese, but lately I've been having wonderful and creative cheesy dressings, most recently with cheddar and avocado. I also love salad with goat cheese—the traditional Parisian bistro crispy or warm goat cheese salad. So I made a blue cheese dressing with fresh chèvre instead of blue cheese. It's tangy, creamy, and just ever-so-slightly tart and acidic. And instead of there being a block of creamy cheese, the dressing enrobes every leaf of lettuce in the salad.
With the chèvre poured over torn green leaf lettuce and topped with garden tomatoes, snipped chives, and toasted walnuts, the salad has a definite bistro feel, but it's easy to make, light but decadent, and a bit off the beaten track—like the avocado cheddar dressing I saw last week.
About the author: Kerry Saretsky is the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way. She also writes the French in a Flash series for Serious Eats.
- 1 1/2 ounces fresh goat cheese, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons half and half
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- Kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 10 cups roughly chopped greenleaf lettuce (about 2 small heads)
- 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into wedges
- 4 teaspoons finely snipped chives
- 6 tablespoons roughly chopped toasted walnuts
In a medium bowl, whisk together the goat cheese, mayonnaise, half and half, and vinegar until mostly smooth. Season to taste with salt and a lot of black pepper.
Toss the lettuce lightly with the dressing. Save whatever is leftover in a closed container in the refrigerator. Top the salad with tomato wedges, chives, and walnuts. Serve immediately.