French Bistro Salad



Recipe Information

Total Time: 

1 hour; 20 minutes active



Bring the bistro home with a salad that evokes dining alfresco in Paris. A simple salad of arugula and tomatoes is tossed with an herby vinaigrette, and the warm, melted chèvre-topped baguette slices make this into a special meal.


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for baguette
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 scallion, white part, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounce chèvre cheese log, cut into 8 rounds
  • 1 small baguette, cut into 8 1-inch-thick slices
  • 4 ounces arugula
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 slices smoky bacon, cooked and crumbled


  1. One to eight hours in advance, combine the ¼ cup olive oil, vinegar, basil, scallion, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in a cup and whisk to combine.
  2. Place chèvre slices in a glass or ceramic storage dish, then pour the vinaigrette over the cheese. Cover and refrigerate until time to serve (between one and eight hours).
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Remove the cheese slices from the vinaigrette and place them on a plate, gently wiping the extra vinaigrette and herbs back into the storage dish to reserve.
  4. Line a sheet pan with foil. Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil in a cup and use it to brush the baguette slices. Place the baguette slices on the pan and bake for four minutes to toast. Take out the pan and preheat the broiler.
  5. In a large bowl, toss the arugula and tomatoes with the reserved marinade and spread on a platter or on four dinner plates.
  6. Top each baguette slice with a slice of marinated cheese and broil for about two minutes, until the cheese starts to melt. Arrange the toasts around the salad, and sprinkle the salads with crumbled bacon.

Serving Suggestion

Serve this salad with a slice of warm quiche or a bowl of French onion soup for a perfect lunch.

Tips and Notes

Select a firm, cylindrically shaped chèvre that you can slice into rounds to marinate and broil.

Nutritional Information

400 calories, 23 g. fat, 35 mg. cholesterol, 710 mg. sodium, 32 g. carbohydrate, 2 g. fiber, 14 g. protein