Friday, May 7, 2010

Watercress, Pear and Gorgonzola Salad

I'm always on the lookout for interesting salad recipes.  Sometime in the past year I discovered that I thoroughly enjoy watercress - both in salads and other dishes.  I also discovered that I love pears in salad.  So when I stumbled across this recipe in the NY Times I decided to run to the grocery store and buy all of the ingredients to make it for dinner.  

The salad was lovely.  It made a very nice accompaniment to the Roast Chicken we served it with.  It would also make a very nice light lunch served with some soup or a small sandwich.  This salad also reminded me that I really like aged Gorgozola cheese!  I'm always a little wary of blue cheese because the pungency of it can completely overwhelm everything else in the same dish.  But this salad was perfectly balanced.  I really enjoyed the sweetness of the pears and dressing, contrasted with the peppery notes from the watercress and the tangy Gorgonzola cheese.  Delicious.

Recipe after the jump!

Watercress, Pear and Gorgonzola Salad
Adapted from “The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual” (Artisan, 2010) Found on NY Times

1/3 cup shallot, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces watercress (about 1 bunch), thick stems removed
4 ounces Gorgonzola, sliced into 16 small slabs
2 ripe Bosc pears, cored, quartered and cut in wedges

Combine the shallots, mustard, vinegar, honey, lemon juice and grapeseed oil in a food processor or blender.  Purée until shallot is very finely chopped.  Season with salt and pepper.  Whisk in evoo.
Rinse and dry the watercress. In a large bowl, toss watercress with the dressing.  Add cheese and pears and toss to combine.

Season with s&p.  Serve.

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