This simple watercress salad celebrates all the flavors that define Spanish cuisine.
What to buy: Look for membrillo, also called quince paste, in gourmet groceries and Latin markets. Manchego is an aged sheep’s-milk cheese from Spain; look for it in gourmet groceries. All of these Spanish products are also available online at La Tienda.
Combine the garlic, vinegar, and a couple pinches of salt in a medium, nonreactive bowl. Whisking constantly, add the olive oil in a steady stream until completely incorporated.
Combine the watercress, almonds, half of the cheese shavings, and half of the diced membrillo in a second bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Divide the salad among 4 plates and garnish with the remaining cheese and membrillo. Serve immediately.
Beverage pairing:Montsarra Cava, Spain. Cava is Spanish sparkling wine, and this one has the light-bodied spritz to merge seamlessly with the Manchego cheese, handle the bitterness of the cress, and appeal to the honeyed sweetness of the membrillo.