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  • Emily

A Favorite Salad - Watercress with Manchego & Membrillo

This is one of my favorite salads to make for company. It's different, yet simple & approachable. If you're running short on time, use jarred minced garlic and skip toasting the almonds. It'll still have plenty of layered flavors, and only you will know the difference. The dressing can be made ahead -- just give it a good whisk to make sure it's incorporated before composing the salad.

Membrillo, or quince paste, is rather sticky & can be frustrating to dice. Two tricks are either heating up the knife in hot water or coating the knife with olive oil. I do both! Also, the pieces of membrillo are less likely to stick together when they have a little bit of oil on them.

Many ingredients, such as the manchego, membrillo, & extra-virgin olive oil, can be picked up at the 70 North Market.

Need a wine suggestion? Try Florensac / Picpoul de Pinet or Las Lilas / Vinho Verde.

Watercress with Manchego & Membrillo


  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

  • Kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 bunches watercress

  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

  • 4 ounces Manchego cheese, shaved

  • 4 ounces membrillo / quince paste, small dice


  1. To make the dressing - combine garlic, vinegar, and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Whisk constantly and add olive oil in a steady stream until incorporated.

  1. To make the salad - combine the watercress, almonds, cheese, and membrillo in a second bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Toss to coat. Divide the salad among 4 plates and garnish with the remaining cheese and membrillo. Serve immediately.

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