Sweet, crunchy, smooth, creamy, and slightly piquant, this salad is complex in flavor but very simple to make. We prefer Gorgonzola dolce latte for its creamy texture, but you could substitute a Roquefort or blue cheese. The watercress may be augmented with Belgian endive for a tart contrast to the peppery taste of the cress. If pears are not in season, substitute blanched carrot slices, and you may replace the celery with fennel.
Make a bed of the watercress on a salad plate. Toss the potato and celery with a little of the vinaigrette and place on the watercress. Strew the pear slices over top. Drizzle with the rest of the vinaigrette and sprinkle with the walnuts. You may add a few chunks of crumbled Gorgonzola as well.
To make Gorgonzola Cream Vinaigrette, place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse quickly just until combined. Do not overprocess.
© 1998 Joyce Goldstein. All rights reserved.