Need a Lettuce Alternative? Make a Watercress and Orange Salad
The lettuce in our area is less than optimum--meaning it's missing from the markets or looks like it was hanging out in the trucks for weeks before it made it to the shelves--so I have sometimes been opting for "alternative greens," in this case watercress. The cress, which should be bright green and crisp, often is considerably less expensive than bagged lettuce. Making the Watercress and Orange Salad 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 (i.e., it's good for you). Enjoy!
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.