A favourite dinner when on holiday in France: goat’s cheese salad with a glass of Sancerre.
A favourite dinner when the sun is shining at home: goat’s cheese salad with a glass of Sancerre.
Simple enough to make, but you have to work much harder to find the ingredients.
The best lettuce is Batavia, crunchy without being water-logged, nice and green with plenty of chew.
The best cheese is a Crottin de Chavignol, from the village of Chavignol in the Loire (they’re the ones on the left).
And what about the wine in your glass? It doesn’t HAVE to be Sancerre. Another Loire sauvignon blanc will do. 2011 isn’t the most brilliant Loire sauvignon blanc vintage ever – I’ve tasted too many dilute wines for my liking – so this summer I’ve been going to a local wine merchant and truffling out a good 2010. Otherwise, Domaine Jean Teiller Menetou Salon 2011 (Yapp, £12.15) is very good. Also there’s a lovely bright-green-grass-and-nettle-like clarity to Domaine Jacky Marteau Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (£7.99, M&S).
I took those cheese and lettuce pictures in Arcachon last week. It’s nowhere near the Loire but we made the goat’s cheese salad thing anyway and, for no reason other than because it’s spectacular, here, taken from a restaurant across the bay, is a picture of the great Dune de Pyla. At over 100m tall, and looking as if by rights it ought to blow away, it’s the highest dune in Europe.
And here’s the finished goat cheese salad.
And finally, because I know that readers of this blog like to infuriate me by clicking through to fashion links more than they click through to wine links, I will add that to be truly chic the picnic rug should not be tartan, it should be a cotton fouta. Here is a picture of mine, bought on the Ile de Re last year, hanging next to one I bought back home from Heidi Klein as a present for a friend. And yes, I know they need ironing.