This simple, yet delicious salad combines spicy watercress with sweet, juicy pears and creamy blue brie cheese. Dressed with tangy lemon Dijon vinaigrette and topped with toasted walnuts, it strikes a perfect balance of flavors and looks classy while doing it. It makes a light, but satisfying lunch or a lovely side with dinner. If you can’t find watercress, try arugula instead as it provides the same hint of spice. I’ve tried this with Bartlett, D’Anjou, and Asian pears and honestly, they all taste good, so the choice is yours. Dry blue cheese crumbles may be substituted for the brie in a pinch, but the creaminess of the brie contrasts so nicely against the crunch of the fresh pear, greens and nuts that I recommend seeking it out.
Watercress & Pear Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
- 1 large bunch or bag watercress (or arugula)
- 1 large pear
- 1 5oz wedge blue brie cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette Ingredients
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- pinch of black pepper
Prepare the vinaigrette by mixing all dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisking until well combined. Alternatively, shake vigorously in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Set aside. Heat walnuts in a small, dry skillet over medium heat for about 3 minutes or until fragrant and slightly darkened. Take care not to burn the nuts by tossing almost constantly. Put aside to cool while preparing other ingredients. Cut both the pear and cheese into even slices, about 1/4 inch thick. Divide watercress into 4 individual serving bowls. Top each with equal portions of sliced pear alternated with sliced cheese. Sprinkle walnuts over top and drizzle with the vinaigrette dressing. Keep any leftover dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator.