WATERCRESS, POINT REYES BLUE & WALNUT SALAD WITH POMEGRANATE MOLASSES DRESSING

The most important change to the American diet is a shift to plating in which two-thirds of the plate is greens and vegetables. Nothing entices skeptical salad eaters more than jewel colored fruit morsels and creamy, bright white bits of blue-veined cheese finished with crunchy toasted nuts. This is a wonderful fall and winter blend that works equally well with fish, fowl , pork and red meat. For a light lunch gathering, serve with a simply pan roasted duck seasoned with salt and pepper. Slice thinly and lay over the finished salad. Bruschetta topped with this lively salad also makes for an impressive appetizer.

Nota bene: Arugula may be substituted for the watercress with good results. Prepackaged pomegranate seeds work fine in this recipe.

Watercress, Point Reyes Blue & Walnut Salad with Pomegranate Molasses Dressing

Ingredients

  • 3 cups hydroponic watercress, washed and spun dry

  • 3 cups watercress, washed and spun dry

  • 1 shallot, sliced paper thin with a handheld mandoline

  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses

  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 3/4 cup olive oil

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds

  • 1/4 cup Point Reyes Blue Cheese, crumbled

  • 1/3 cup walnuts, large chop and toasted

Directions

1. Put both types of watercress in a large salad bowl. Use fingers to gently toss the greens with the sliced shallot.

2. In a small skillet over low heat, toast the walnuts. Remove from heat and let cool.

3. In a bowl, add the pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, honey and vinegar. Stir vigorously to combine.

4. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

5. Just before serving, drizzle a small amount of the dressing over the watercress and shallot and lift the greens with fingers to distribute the dressing. Add just enough dressing to barely coat the greens.

6. Sprinkle the salad with the blue cheese crumbles, walnut pieces and fresh pomegranate seeds. 

7. Finish with one last grind of black pepper.