Easy, delicious salad, cheese and dessert course in one

For a few winter months, the French splurge on eating Vacherin, the famous Swiss cheese one eats at room temperature with a spoon. It tastes like nothing else and is a delicacy for the end of year holidays on many French tables. I served one in early January for a Sunday lunch with galette des rois and had a bit leftover. Back down memory lane and my Alsatian grandmother's "leftover" gamut for an easy and yummy dish that could also be a lunch or brunch as it is complete and filling.

(If you can't find Vacherin or it's out of season, a Reblochon or any cow's milk cheese from Jura or elsewhere that is on the soft side will do. It's important to take the cheese out of the fridge a good half hour before preparing this dish.)

For one:
Heat a drizzle of olive oil and a sliver of butter in a frying pan and add a cored, peeled and sliced apple that you've sprinkled with cumin and cinnamon. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes. Add a teaspoon of honey and cook a few minutes more to obtain the beginnings of caramelized juice. Place on a dish. Add a tablespoon of the cheese. Season with freshly ground pepper and serve immediately with a few spinach leaves all around the edges. It's yummy with a toasted slice of seven grain bread.

Another similar concept:
I served this recently to a group of international friends visiting Manhattan, and it was a hit.
Alsatians love gingerbread so this was another favorite one in our house; though it misses the fruit part, it is equally yummy: spread some Epoisses cheese on a slice of gingerbread (1 portion) and put in a 300 degree F preheated oven until the cheese melts. Serve immediately on a bed of mesclun, frisée or mâche salad.

“"Le vin est le professeur du goût, le libérateur de l’esprit et l’illuminateur de l’intelligence"”


French women eat and serve what's in season, for maximum flavor and value, and know availability does not equal quality.


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