This is another recipe from our friends at Blue Ribbon that is part of a glazed salmon meal we prepared this week. The salmon was incredible, but we all enjoyed this simple watercress salad recipe that was served as a side dish (even the kids). At first I thought we were missing a starch but my kids quickly reminded me of the parsnips in the salad. Thank you very much girls.
This is the first time I’ve used watercress as a main salad ingredient. I’ve been served watercress in restaurants but more as a garnish so I wasn’t sure how this was going to work out. It turned out fine but if you are serving it to kids, be sure to cut it up a little so there’s no chance of choking on the long strands.
Did you know watercress is one of the oldest leafy vegetables consumed by humans? Rich in calcium, iron, folic acid, vitamin A and vitamin C, there are several studies out there professing its health benefits but I’ll leave it up to you to follow up on that research. It is an aquatic plant so look for it near fresh water springs and streams.
You see it used a lot in soups or mixed with other salad greens. In Britain it is often added to finger sandwiches served at tea time. Because it is an aquatic plant, be sure to clean it well before serving.
Orange Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
A simple orange vinaigrette is served with the salad. The recipe calls for fresh orange juice and I recommend you do to0 but if you don’t feel like juicing a orange, I’m sure store-bought orange juice will work just fine. Don’t add all the dressing in one pour. You can always add more but it’s hard to take it away after adding too much. Add some, taste and add more if necessary.
Watercress Orange and Parsnip Salad Recipe
- 2 bunches fresh watercress washed well
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 2 oranges
- 1 scallion washed and thinly sliced on a diagonal
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 parsnips washed and cut into matchsticks
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Be sure to wash the watercress well and reserve.
- Toast the sunflower seeds in a small nonstick pan for a couple of minutes until lightly browned and fragrant. Don't burn them please.
- Remove and reserve the juice from 1 of the oranges with a juicer or one of those handheld juicing tools. Peel the other orange and cut the sections into bite-sized pieces.
- To Make the Vinaigrette
- Combine the fresh orange juice with scallions and season with salt & pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil a little at a time until emulsified. Taste and adjust amounts while you are adding the olive oil for balance.
- Assemble the Salad
- In a large salad bowl, combine the watercress, orange pieces, parsnip matchsticks and sunflower seeds. Add a little of the vinaigrette and toss well to coat the watercress leaves with dressing. Taste and adjust salad with more dressing if needed and salt & pepper to taste.
- Serve on plate as a side dish or as a side salad.