Monday, January 4, 2010

Watercress Salad

I picked up some watercress on a whim over the weekend from the Asian grocer (more posts to come from that visit) and came home and found
this wonderful recipe to use some of it on. I say "some" because you get a ton of it. It comes in a small "butcher pack" and it looks like a very small amount but it was enough to fill up my Pho noodle bowl. My earliest memories of watercress was eating some wild out of my grandma's yard. It has a peppery bite to it, spicy and a little heat not unlike horseradish. This salad has romaine, watercress, walnuts and Gorgonzola cheese. The dressing uses Gorgonzola cheese, fresh basil, olive oil, basalmic vinegar....It is supposed to be a clone recipe from California Pizza Kitchen, however I have never been to one. This is one of the best salads I have ever had, and I think that the only thing that would make it better is to have some thinly sliced Granny Smith apple or dried cranberries added to it.

California Pizza Kitchen Romaine-Watercress Salad W/ Balsamic-Basil Vinaigrette

Balsamic-Basil Vinaigrette

* 8 large fresh basil leaves
* 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
* 1/4 lb gorgonzola, crumbled
* 3/4 cup olive oil, mild flavored

Romaine-Watercress Salad

* 1 head romaine lettuce, cleaned and chopped
* 1 bunch watercress, cleaned and cut bite-size
* 8 ounces gorgonzola, crumbled
* 2 cups walnuts, shelled halves

In a blender, process basil, gorgonzola and vinegar. Then, on a slower speed, blend in oil briefly. Set aside in refrigerator to chill. Later, in a large mixing bowl, combine the greens. Add dressing and toss to coat all leaves. Transfer the dressed greens to several chilled serving plates. Top each with equal amounts of crumbled Gorgonzola cheese and walnuts.