Watercress Salad with Cilantro Dressing
One of the purposes of this blog is to expand the idea of what Latin food is and can be. And so I go to the public library to research recipes. As I said in a previous blog post, recipes in little-known cookbooks don’t always work. On the other hand, when they don’t work, there is a lot of opportunity to be creative and improve them. If you have the time and the patience, this is one way to invent your own recipes.
We associate watercress with sandwiches at English high tea, but it is a common salad green in Mexico. This recipe originally came from Simply Mexican by Lourdes Castro. But the “dressing” was a kind of pesto that was way too thick to put over a salad. My husband and I ended up eating it on spaghetti. And so back to the drawing board tinkering with cilantro dressing recipes until one came out right. Then I added orange slices and pine nuts for garnish. Hope you like it! Thanks for visiting my blog!
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 bunches watercress
1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
1/4 cup queso fresco or to taste
4 orange slices
Whisk the vinegar, salt and pepper, garlic, cilantro and olive oil in a bowl. Set aside.
To toast the nuts, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, place the nuts on a baking sheet, and toast for about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
Remove watercress leaves from the thick stems and rinse. Pat the leaves dry gently so not to bruise or crush them.
Place watercress on 4 salad plates, pour dressing on and top with queso fresco and pine nuts. Cut orange slices into quarters and place them at the edges of each salad, two at the bottom of the plate, and two at the top.