Watercress, Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad (Serves 4)
1½ pints (12 oz) fresh strawberries, sliced (2 cups)
1½ tsp minced shallot
1½ tsp-1 tbsp red wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
⅛ tsp freshly ground pepper
4 cups watercress, whole leaves and tender stems (about 1 bunch)
1 oz. fresh or aged goat cheese, crumbled (¼ cup)
For the dressing:
1. Combine half of the sliced strawberries and 2 tbsp water in a blender. Blend until just pureed, stopping the blender if necessary to push the strawberries down with a spoon a few times. Strain the puree through a mesh strainer set over a medium bowl to remove the seeds.
2. Add the shallot and vinegar to the strawberry puree and whisk to blend.
3. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the olive oil and continue whisking until well combined. Season with salt and pepper. You may prepare the dressing and store it, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days.
4. Arrange 1 cup of watercress on each of four salad plates. Scatter the remaining 1 cup sliced strawberries over the salads. Drizzle 2 tbsp dressing over each salad. Scatter the goat cheese over each salad and serve.