Watercress has been called a superfood. Hippocrates made sure to locate his hospital close to a stream, so that he would have a supply of it t treat his patients, and a tonic made from watercress was apparently given to Greek soldiers before they entered battle. Today, there are claims that it has cancer-suppressing properties and a strengthening effect on the thyroid. Regardless, it’s a healthy leafy green, filled with nutrients and vitamins, including calcium, iron, folic acid and vitamins A and C. It also tastes delicious, so the other night, I made a simple watercress salad.
- Watercress (1 large bunch, about 4-5 cups, rinsed, with thick stems removed)
- 1/2 bulb fennel, chopped
- 1/8 cup chopped hazelnuts
- 1/8 cup dried cherries
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small garlic clove, smashed and finely minced
- 1 teaspoon coarse dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- Fresh cracked pepper and coarse sea salt to taste
In a large bowl, combine the watercress, fennel, cherries, and hazelnuts. In a separate container, combine oil and garlic and further smash the garlic with the oil. (Ideally, you’ll use a mortar and pestle for this. Whisk in the lemon juice and mustard. Whisk in the honey. Add more lemon juice or oil until it’s at the desired consistency. Pour over salad and toss. Add fresh cracked pepper and course sea salt to taste, and serve with a nice toasted bread.