Watercress Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette
- 2 bunches watercress, rinsed well and dried, tough stems removed
- 1 head Bibb lettuce, tough core removed, leaves separated, rinsed well and dried
- 8 ounces button mushrooms, wiped clean, stem ends trimmed, and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons Garlic-Rosemary Red Wine Vinegar, recipe follows
- 2 teaspoons Merlot (from Argentina)
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- Garlic and Rosemary Red Wine Vinegar:
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, rinsed well and patted dry
- 2 cups red-wine vinegar
- 4 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 long sprig rosemary, for garnish, rinsed and drained well
In a large bowl, combine the watercress, lettuce, mushrooms, and onions. To make the dressing, in a small bowl whisk together the mustard, red wine vinegar, red wine, garlic, and chives.
Gradually whisk in all the oil, and continue mixing until an emulsion forms. Add the salt and pepper and mix well. Toss the dressing as desired on the salad. Crumble the cheese on top and serve.
Pair with the same Merlot as in the dressing.Garlic and Rosemary Red Wine Vinegar:
Place the rosemary leaves in the center of a 6-inch square of cheesecloth. Bring up the ends and tie tightly with kitchen twine. Set aside.
Combine the vinegar, garlic, and sugar in a small heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the rosemary sachet, and let steep no longer than 5 minutes. Once the rosemary is removed, let the vinegar cool completely.
Strain the cooled vinegar through a fine mesh sieve. Place the 2 cloves of the garlic and the rosemary sprig in a sterilized 1-cup glass jar or decorative container. Add the vinegar and seal. Use as needed.
Yield: 1 cup
Note: Depending upon how long you hold the vinegar after bottling, the solids inside will start to break down and/or discolor.
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2001