Autumn in New England is apple time. We love our apples! My local farm stand has them front and center. There is usually a small crowd gathered around them admiring the abundant varieties. The apples have exotic names that give no clue to their sweetness or best use leading to serious discussions about which apple should be used for what purpose from those "in the know".
I have been sitting (not literally) on this recipe all summer. I got the recipe from Marmiton. It is a French cooking site and has the most wonderful recipes. I am like a kid in a candy shop when I visit the site and have spent many evenings looking at their videos and reading the recipes. I started with this site to help brush up on my French for a recent trip to Paris. The original title for this dish is Verrine de mousse au chevre. Verrine means jar in French and the layers are beautiful to see so I recommend using a glass vessel of some sort to serve the salad. The salad is cute as can be and made the evening seem much more special than a mundane Wednesday night. I think a lovely way to start a dinner party is with the salads already sitting at the table.
Here is the link to the original recipe. I adapted it a bit to fit my needs. Also, I had not yet made the trip to Paris so I did not have any Espelette de piment. I used smoked paprika as advised by another source and it was really nice. I used Gala apples for the salad. Gala apples have a sweet flavor but stand up well to heat of the saute pan so there are some nice textures in the salad. There are two kinds of goat cheese, the regular log style that I see in every cheese bin at the grocery and fresh goat cheese which I found locally at an upscale Whole Foods market. The fresh goat cheese was more of a cream cheese consistency and had a milder cheese flavor. I used Fage plain flavored yogurt. Fage is very trendy in my area right now. I like it because the texture is creamy and the consistency is a little firm. I don't think the brand of yogurt will make or break this salad.
I served this salad with some thick sliced,grilled pork chops and roasted spaghetti squash. Because I had a lot of Parmesan tuiles leftover, I kept them out for snacking during the week.
Here is the recipe:
Verrine de Mousse au Chevre -adapted for Evelyn's house
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 ounces yogurt, whole milk
2 ounces goat cheese, log style
1 ounce goat cheese, fresh
1 bunch arugula leaves
6 ounces Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika, or piment espelette
1. Make the Parmesan tuiles: Preheat the oven to 350 °. Line a small cookie sheet or sheetpan with parchment paper. Drop a small pile of shredded Parmesan onto the cookie sheet. Bake until tuiles have turned a light golden on top about 6 to 7 minutes. Keep an eye on them as they will burn quickly. Remove from the oven. Using an off set spatula, immediately transfer the tuiles to a drape over a rolling pin and allow to cool. This will give them the slightly curved shape. Yes, they were that easy!!
2. Peel apples and cut into small cubes. Melt butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add apples and saute until browned and softened. remove from heat and set aside to cool.
3. Mix together the yogurt, goat cheeses in a food processor and blend well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Make a vinaigrette by whisking together the balsamic vinegar, oil and either smoked paprika or espelette pepper, if available. Toss the vinaigrette with the arugula. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. To assemble: Use a clear container such as a jar or deep martini glass to best show off this salad. Spoon the apple among the 6 glasses. Top with the goat foam. Then top with the arugula. Garnish with the Parmesan tuiles.