Watercress, Salami, and Goat-Cheese Salad

Watercress is not the most commonly used salad green, but its peppery bite makes it one of the most delicious. Baking the croutons is certainly a no-fuss method, but you can sauté them over moderate heat if that seems easier for you.

Yield: 4
Recipe from Food & Wine

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Ingredients

  • 1 quart 1/2-inch cubes good-quality white bread
  • 9 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Fresh-ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons red- or white-wine vinegar
  • 1 1/4 pounds watercress, tough stems removed (about 3 1/2 quarts)
  • 1/4 pound sliced salami, halved and cut crosswise into thin strips
  • 6 ounces mild goat cheese

Preparation

  1. 1. Heat the oven to 350°. Put the bread cubes on a baking sheet and toss them with 3 tablespoons of the oil and 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bake, stirring the croutons occasionally, until they are crisp and brown, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. 2. Meanwhile, in a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, whisk together the vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the remaining 6 tablespoons oil slowly, whisking.
  3. 3. Add the watercress and the salami to the dressing and toss to combine. Toss in the croutons. Put the salad on plates and crumble some of the goat cheese over each serving.
  4. Variations:: · Mix some arugula in with the watercress leaves; just be sure to have a total of about three-and-a-half quarts of greens.: · Use strips of pepperoni instead of salami.: · Add some chopped tomato.
  5. Wine Recommendation: Italy's light, thirst-quenching Bardolino will make a super sipper with this salad. Almost more of a rosé than a red, Bardolino can be utterly charming when made by one of the Veneto's many small artisanal wineries.
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