TC Recipe: Salad of Watercress and Roquefort with Pancetta and Poached Egg

November 12 2012

By Executive Chef Benjamin Nadolny
Suggested Pairing: 2008 Blanc de Noirs
Serves 2

Salad of Watercress and Roquefort with Pancetta and Poached Egg

It is only the luckiest of palettes that enjoy and seek the bitter flavors of the culinary world. Not everyone can handle bitter flavors; after all, bitterness kept our ancient ancestors from consuming poisonous plants. Watercress has a bitterness to it that when eaten alone might not be pleasant for some people. Cream it up with Roquefort cheese, add the crispy fat of pancetta and an unctuous egg yolk and you have a dish that welcomes the palate-cleansing bitterness of watercress.

The Blanc de Noirs is bright and refreshing with this dish. The bubbles power right through the rich flavors in the salad and find the fresh, herbaceous qualities in the watercress. The rind tartness and crisp nature of the wine will refresh the palate with every rich, savory bite making this a sparkling that can go from brunch to lunch and into dinner with its pairing potential.


  • 2 C watercress, stems removed
  • 1 oz Roquefort cheese
  • 2 each whole egg
  • 4 oz pancetta, cut into lardons
  • 2 each radish, sliced thin
  • 1 T + 2 tsp muscato vinegar, or substitute white wine vinegar
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 T hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 2 tsp Italian parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper


In a small sauce pot simmer water and 2 tsp muscato vinegar to poach egg.

In a small sauté pan begin to caramelize the pancetta lardons.

In a mixing bowl whisk 2 T muscato vinegar with olive oil, parsley, and hazelnuts. With a rubber spatula, mash the Roquefort into the vinaigrette until creamy.

Poach eggs individually by breaking them into a tea cup and gently dropping the egg into the water.

Mix watercress and radishes into the Roquefort dressing until well covered.

Plate the watercress, top with pancetta then poached egg. Enjoy!