Yesterday was our last day of epic sunshine before a spell of rain will hit for the next week. Luckily we got to spend it playing in the sun and eating a delicious meal with wonderful friends. Giselle, (who you would never believe is a grandma until you hand her your crying baby and he chills right out) she has a pond. In that pond she has an abundance of wild watercress that someone planted there 80 years ago. It’s amazing how one ingredient can excite me so much, it’s like a high, this euphoric excitement that doesn’t dissipate until something worthy of it’s loveliness is created. The cress was all congregated in the middle of the pond impossible to get at. But you know what impossible really means? Giselle sure does, she jumped right in there, up to her waist in gunk, to harvest the coveted plant that made this salad possible. I’m possible.
So this watercress stuff, you may be able to find it at a pond near you. It grows all over the US, southern Canada, Asia most places in Europe. Be sure to only harvest from clean water sources. Here is a good video if you’d like to learn more about this water loving plant.
Watercress has a slightly spicy slightly bitter taste to it so I paired it with some savoury sweetness to mellow things out. Crunchy candied walnuts and pumpkin seeds added good contrast to the cress and red onion kept things zingy. The dressing was a puree of apricot, lemon, parsley and oregano.
Here’s the full recipe
- 4 cups fresh watercress
- handful dandelion leaves
- handful sorrel leaves
- 1 celery stalk, sliced
- handful dried cranberries
- ¼ of a red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- ¼ cup walnut
- ⅓ cup pumpkin seeds
- 1½ Tbs coconut sugar
- 1 Tbs water
- 1 Tbs chopped oregano
- 1 Tbs chopped parsley
- 1 Tbs chopped garlic
- 2 Tbs lemon juice
- 5 dried apricots, rehydrated in hot water for about 10 minutes
- 4 Tbs olive oil
- Salt & fresh cracked pepper
- In a sauce pan combine water and coconut sugar until melted, on low medium heat add nuts and seeds until all water has evaporated and they are enveloped in thick caramel. Take off heat and place onto an oiled plate to cool.
- Combine watercress,dandelion,sorrel,celery,cranberries,red onion & avocado in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a blender add oregano,parsley,garlic,lemon juice,apricots, olive oil, salt & pepper and puree until smooth.
- Dress salad just before serving. If you have wild violets growing around you they are edible and a beautiful garnish.