Spanish Tapas Menu: Watercress Salad with Peaches and Sherry Vinaigrette

<em>Serves 4 to 6<br />
</em>This recipe combines fresh seasonal greens with ripe peaches and almonds for a refreshing and tasty salad. In autumn, use persimmons in place of the peaches. To make vanilla bean vinegar, add a whole vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise, to a bottle of white or rice wine vinegar. Or, just use a bit more sherry vinegar and add a drop of pure vanilla extract.</p>
<li>1 head butter-crunch or Boston lettuce</li>
<li>1 bunch watercress and/or arugula</li>
<li>2 large or 4 small perfectly ripe peaches</li>
<li>½ tablespoon sherry or red wine vinegar</li>
<li>About 1 teaspoon vanilla bean vinegar</li>
<li>4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil</li>
<li>Salt and freshly ground pepper</li>
<li>About <sup>
</sup> cup slivered almonds, toasted and salted</li>
<li>Wash lettuce leaves and spin dry. Wash cress or arugula, remove large stems and spin dry. Peel peaches and slice them into eighths.</li>
<li>In a small bowl, combine vinegars and oil, and stir together with a fork. Add a pinch or two of salt and some pepper. Taste for seasoning, and adjust with vinegar, salt or pepper.</li>
<li>Arrange greens on salad plates. Arrange peach slices on the greens. Stir vinaigrette and drizzle a few teaspoons over each salad. Garnish each salad with salted almonds and serve immediately.</li>
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<em>Contributing editor Susan Belsinger of Brookeville, Maryland, cooks up an astounding array of delicious herbal recipes, articles, books and lectures.</em>
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