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Watercress Salad with Dates, Pancetta, Blue Cheese and Pistachios

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The dates add a pleasant sweetness to the salty pancetta and blue cheese.

  1. One 3-ounce slices of pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  2. 2 bunches of watercress, thick stems discarded
  3. 10 Medjool dates, pitted and quartered lengthwise
  4. 1/2 cup roasted unsalted pistachios
  5. 2 ounces Maytag blue cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)
  6. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  7. 1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  8. Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. In a medium skillet, cook the pancetta over moderate heat until browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the watercress with the pancetta, dates, pistachios, blue cheese, olive oil and sherry vinegar. Season the salad with salt and pepper and serve.