New York Magazine

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.



Long relegated to dainty English tea sandwiches, innocuous garnishes, and the like, watercress can withstand a bit rougher treatment. The crisp, pungent member of the mustard family grows in cool running water and is packed with enough vitamins and minerals to give spinach a run for its beta-carotene money. The resemblance doesn’t stop there, as this cooked-greens recipe from Compass chef John Fraser proves.

John Fraser’s Wilted-Watercress Salad With Bread and Pancetta

1/2-inch-thick slice pancetta
2 shallots, sliced
2 slices day-old French or peasant bread, roughly cut into long, thick strips
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
2 bunches watercress, thick stems removed
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

(1) Dice pancetta, and render it in a medium-size saucepan over medium-low heat. Remove pancetta from pan, and add shallots and bread.
(2) Stir frequently until shallots are wilted but still crunchy and bread gets a toasty edge. Turn heat to high, and deglaze the pan with vinegar.
(3) Add watercress, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper, and cook until slightly wilted.


Current Issue
Subscribe to New York

Give a Gift