I recently saw and bought watercress at an international market with the idea that I would, finally, re-create a salad I'd seen in Dublin last year. I hadn't had a chance before because I hadn't seen any (affordable) watercress that looked remotely edible. The cress I bought was bright green and fresh, calling out to me to take it home for only 99 cents. Okay, I thought. Time to make the orange salad. The salad itself is simple. The main ingredients are the watercress, orange pieces, goat cheese, and pecans. What makes the salad special is the orange vinaigrette. The salad is sweet from the oranges, slightly peppery from the watercress, crunchy from the pecans, and creamy from the goat cheese. The slightly sweet/acid taste of the vinaigrette ties everything together and makes you want more salad, please. You can have plenty. Watercress is a nutritional powerhouse with lots of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
Watercress and Orange Salad -- Serves 4
1/4 cup of orange juice
2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of honey
Grated zest of 2 oranges
4-5 cups of watercress, washed well, dried, and tough stems removed
2 oranges (the ones you zested), pith removed and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup of chopped green onions
1/2 cup of shredded carrots
1/4 cup of crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup of toasted pecans (whole or pieces)
In a large bowl, whisk together the orange juice, oil, salt, honey, and orange zest. Add the watercress, orange pieces, green onions, carrots, and goat cheese and mix everything well to distribute the vinaigrette. Mix in the pecans or top the salad with the nuts, if you prefer.