A Bridal Shower Tea: Watercress, Pear and Walnut Salad

This salad requires the best pears you can find. Buy them a few days early so they have time to fully ripen.

1 ½ pounds watercress
1 cup walnut halves, toasted in a dry pan
1 cup arugula
6 pears
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup olive oil
freshly grated parmesan

This recipe makes enough salad for six servings. Increase according to the number of guests. For each salad plate, use a handful of watercress and arugula, one sliced pear, a sprinkling of walnuts and a dusting of parmesan.

For the salad dressing, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, egg yolk, salt and pepper. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil until the dressing is emulsified. Serve dressing in small glass pitchers on the tables so each guest can add as much or as little to her salad as she prefers.