AUGUST 27 2011


The "watercress salad with cipollini vinaigrette" saga started Saturday morning when I decided to make this salad for breakfast (it's true, I eat salad for breakfast). And I had visions of me, sitting in the early morning sun on the deck, munching on a lovely watercress salad, watching the pets frolic in the grass. Ahhhh....

I've been really looking forward to this salad, too. Figs + gorgonzola = awesome! And watercress is an ingredient I never buy so I was pretty curious about it. My dreams, however, were dashed by a bland oily dressing and strangely proportioned salad.

Let's start with the cipollini vinaigrette (which, incidentally, is in like 5 additional recipes). I recently learned that blenders are intended to fit a standard mason jar and it seemed like the perfect way to avoid a bunch of clean-up. So I pureed the ingredients in the jar, caped it and stuck it in the fridge. Blended and stored in the same jar! Perfect! Except somehow the mason jar didn't screw on quite right and it leaked a little. Oh well.

mason jar blender!

I marveled once again at the quantity of oil going into this dressing. A whole cup? Geez! And there were definite problems because of it. There just wasn't enough acid to balance all that oil and so the dressing tasted like watery, slightly oniony grapeseed oil.. yech. I just hoped it would somehow work when tossed with all of the salad ingredients.

So toss the watercress with the some of the vinaigrette and top with a 1 oz wedge of gorgonzola and one, single quartered fig. Really? That's like four bites? Okay, out onto the deck, sit in the sun and dig in.

Blech... the dressing is still bad and completely smothers the subtle peppery crunch of the watercress. And sooo much gorgonzola. I cut all the fig quarters in half trying to get some fig in each bite but even then I couldn't eat all that cheese. And I'm a HUGE cheese fan.

   before    :    after

I still have all the ingredients and am determined to make this into a salad I will enjoy. So today, Monday, I made myself a new salad using a red wine vinaigrette and adjusted the proportions of the toppings. Twice the figs! Less cheese... and crumbled up instead of the awkward huge slice. Would have taken it onto the deck but it's kinda chilly out there tonight.

watercress salad version two

So version two is much better although I again over-dressed the greens. Am feeling pretty good about this salad now. Will have to rock the watercress more often :)

The question remains: If 5 additional recipes call for the cipollini vinaigrette, which I have now made and don't really like, should I make it again to add to these recipes? Or can I tweak it a little to be something I enjoy more? I think I will make it one more time as directed to make sure I didn't mess it up, but if it's still not good, I don't want that to affect my enjoyment of future dishes. What do you think?


  1. I think I am blown away that a mason jar fits onto a blender! amazing! and yes, one more time and then you can quit.

  2. ya, I was pretty sure the whole thing was gonna explode as soon as I turned it on...


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