Last time I was at Trader Joe’s, I noticed they had some hydroponically grown watercress in the produce section. I was overjoyed! I love watercress and have waited and waited to see it again at Trader Joe’s. I also bought a ton of arugula and a log of yummy Chèvre from the Vermont Butter and Cheese Company, which received the best rating for domestic goat cheese from Cooks’ Illustrated. (It really is delicious.)
A quick search online at Epicurious.com gave me the perfect recipe that incorporated all of my purchases. I borrowed heavily from that recipe, substituting blackberries for raspberries and toasted almonds for the pine nuts. Also, I used frozen blackberries that I thawed. They worked out perfectly.
Arugula, Watercress and Goat Cheese Salad with Blackberry Vinaigrette
Adapted from Epicurious.com
Serves 6 (if you halve it, it serves 2 as a large side salad)
1/2 cup fresh blackberries, divided
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 shallot, chopped
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup fresh blackberries
1 5-ounce bag mixed baby greens with arugula
2 cups small watercress sprigs
1/2 cup almonds, toasted (or toasted pine nuts, walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts)
1 cup crumbled soft fresh goat cheese (about 4 ounces)
Puree 1/2 cup blackberries, oil, vinegar, shallot, and honey in blender. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
Combine remaining 1/2 cup blackberries, greens, watercress, and pine nuts in large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Divide salad among plates. Sprinkle with goat cheese. Serve, passing remaining dressing separately.