Tobins' Tastes: Walnut, Apple & Warm Goat Cheese Salad With A Champagne Vinaigrette

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Walnut, Apple & Warm Goat Cheese Salad With A Champagne Vinaigrette

In our nine years together, something Justin and I have always loved doing together is discovering new and exciting restaurants and bars. We are Food Network and Cooking Channel fanatics and I am slightly embarrassed to admit that have the TV Food Maps app on our phones.

The first thing we do when we plan a vacation is instantly search the area we are visiting for eateries that have been featured on shows like Diners, Drive Ins & Dives or Best Thing I Ever Ate. Justin can spend hours planning our meals and snacks alone.

One of the perks of dating long distance for close to four years that was we were constantly in new cities and towns as we drove back and forth which allowed us to spend our date nights at a new restaurant each time we got to see each other.

Now that we are married and live in the same house/town, we often reminisce about date night meals past and talk about what we will get the next time we are in said city and whatever restaurant. Please tell me we aren't the only ones who day dream aloud about future eating experiences?!?

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Since it isn't practical or affordable to just jump in the car or on a plane and visit our all time favorite places, we have started recreating our favorite meals at home right in the comfort of our own kitchen. Remember my Turkey, Apple & Brie Sandwiches?

On our way to visit my grandparents in West Palm Beach for New Years, Justin and I stopped in Stuart where he use to live and had a little date night at Carmela's Brick Oven Pizza. It is a romantic little pizza place with brick walls and amazing food. When he was in school and I had just started working, he save up and take me there for a special date night. Sometimes we would even spring for a bottle of wine or dessert : )

This time we ordered an amazing brick oven pizza and decided to start out with the house goat cheese salad. I could not believe we had never tried it. It was quite possibly the best salad I have ever eaten: mixed greens, walnuts, cucumbers, and julienned apples topped with a slice of warmed goat cheese and a champagne vinaigrette. It was sweet, tangy and perfect.

Since the New Year, we have been trying to keep our dinners light so we have been eating lots of soup and salads. This salad was quick and easy to make and since I have the ingredients on hand now I imagine we will be eating once a week, our own little stroll down memory lane and a date night all without changing out of my comfy pants.

Walnut, Apple & Goat Cheese Salad
  • 1 bag of Mixed Greens
  • 1 large Fuji Apple
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or more if you like)
  • 2 oz of goat cheese
  • Herb Seasoned Croutons (optional-we used homemade from left over french bread)
  • Champagne Vinaigrette (homemade or store bought, I used Marzetti Simply Dressed)
1.) Slice the goat cheese into individual pats in whatever thickness/size you prefer. Place them on a baking sheet covered with tin foil and warm in the oven at 350 degrees for about five minutes.

2.) While the goat cheese is getting warmed up, peel and julienne the apple and then peel and dice the cucumber.

3.) In a large bowl toss together the mixed greens, 2/3 of the apple pieces, the diced cucumber and crushed walnuts. Add desired amount of dressing and toss to evenly coat.

4.) Plate the salad mixture and top with more apple pieces and a few croutons. Right before serving carefully scoop up the warmed slices of goat cheese and place on the sliced apples on the top of the salad. This allows each person to mix in their own goat cheese as they like best.

5.) Serve quickly so the greens don't get soggy and the cheese is still nice and warm when you start eating.

Make sure you stop by this week's Mealtime Monday and link up any amazing recipes you have been working on lately.

***Depending on the day this post may be linked up to any of these fabulous linky parties.***

Do you host a weekly party? If so, make sure to visit my party page and add yours so we all can join in the fun!


  1. Wonderful salad... pinning and making very soon.

  2. I agree with Diane - it's a wonderful colorful salad!

  3. Looks delish!

    New follower!

    Looks great!

    Thanks so much for sharing at Wednesday's Adorned From Above Blog Hop.
    Melanie @ Keep It Simple & Fun

  4. i adore this combination!

    so happy to find your sweet blog via the party!

    when you have a moment, we'd love to have you stop by to say hi!

    smiles to you.

    hello lovely inc.

  5. Wonderful - looks so inviting and contains some mouthwatering ingredients.
    I found you from the Make it in a Day linky party.

  6. This looks delicious!! I would love to have you share them over at my new Pinterest Power Party!


  7. Looks good! I'm trying to get more fresh things into our meal plans this year. Happy Friendship Friday! :O)

  8. Thanks so much for sharing on the hop!

  9. We will just love this salad, it looks delicious! Thank you so much for celebrating TWO YEARS with FULL PLATE THURSDAY, I appreciate your visit!
    Come Back Soon
    Miz Helen

  10. Hi Kaylee, Thanks so much for sharing this delicious salad on Foodie Friends Friday. I know a lot of us are looking to eat a little lighter after the holidays and this salad is a great way to start.

    Joanne/Winelady Cooks

  11. This looks delicious! Glad to find you. Pinning from the pinterest party at online blogcon!

  12. Wow! I am such a HUGE goat cheese fan and this salad sounds absolutely fantastic. Love the apples and walnuts and that champagne vinaigrette sounds like the perfect finishing touch. Lovely!

  13. I've never had goat cheese before...I'm kind of scared to try it, but I think I may come around. The salad looks good - I like salads with apple and walnuts in it.

    I'm stopping by from Create with Joy's Friendship Friday hop.

  14. This salad looks fantastic!! And yes, my husband and I look forward to and love to try out new places when we travel!

  15. I love Diners Drive ins and Dives! I always wish I could find those places! Love this salad. It has all my favorite flavors! Thanks for sharing at One Creative Weekend!

  16. delish and healthy too. Thank you for sharing at the hop xo

  17. Have to PIN this one so I can enjoy it once I get all the ingredients. Delicious

    Thanks for sharing and linking up to the Empowered Living Hop, its always a treat having you participate.

  18. Hi - I just voted for your salad on Foodie Friends Friday... I LOVE salads! So fresh and yummy looking. Also today if you haven't already, there is a HUGE giveaway from This Gal Cooks & friends.. Stop by to enter! Deb

  19. Hey Kaylee, This looks yummy plus the Champagne vinaigrette sounds amazing! Thanks so much for linking up at the Humble Brag!

  20. Oh I love Date Night! My problem is the last two that we had we had a tag along son with us. This Salad looks so good and it's nice to see some healthy recipes! Thanks so much for Linking up at Show Me Your Plaid Monday's!

  21. Love all the components to this salad. You hit a salty, sweet and creamy! Thanks for sharing on Thursdays Treasures.

  22. Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Hope you have a great weekend and enjoy your new Red Plate.
    Miz Helen

  23. One of my very favorite salads, too! Not fortunate enough to have eaten it in Florida,though :-) The cucumber is a new (to me) addition, though -- I will have to give it a try. thanks so much for sharing on Busy Monday!

  24. beautiful yummy salad , thanks for sharing


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