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June 12, 2019

BERRIES AND PEAR WATERCRESS SALAD WITH POPPY SEED VINAIGRETTE 

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If you have never had a watercress salad, why not start today? This Berries And Pear Watercress Salad With Poppy Seed Vinaigrette is simple, nutritious and is sure to get you hooked!

Berries And Pear Watercress Salad With Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
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Hi there!! I would like to start with a public service announcement: when writing a post that involves poppy seeds, it is imperative to proofread and to turn on spell check. I caught myself typing poopy seeds several times. They, my friends, aren't a good marketing tool when it comes to food. Haha!!


When I first made this salad, I shared it with my next door neighbors. They LOVED it! And what's not to love? There is the pepperiness of the watercress, the sweetness of the fruits; the satisfying crunch and nuttiness of pecans; and the cheesy and saltiness of Gorgonzola. To tie everything together is a honey sweetened poppy seed vinaigrette, which perfectly compliments and mellows the spicy watercress. 


I made a resolution to incorporate more watercress into my diet because it is so beneficial. Do you know that it is a superfood? It's in the Brassica family of cruciferous vegetables, which includes Brussels sprouts, broccoli, arugula, cabbage, and kale. Watercress has a plethora of benefits and contains over 15 essential vitamins and minerals. This vegetable is packed with vitamin K which promotes blood clotting, and in conjunction with calcium, helps prevent osteoporosis. In fact, one cup of this veggie has over 100% of RDI of vitamin K. Also in high abundance are iron, calcium, and vitamin C.

Watercress is also high in antioxidants, which prevents cell damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. These molecules increase the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Also worth mentioning, watercress also has blood pressure reduction properties. You see how I need to get more of this green healthy goodness in my life?




And guess what? If you are looking to lose a few pounds, say hello to your new best friend! One cup of chopped watercress has only 4 calories! 4 calories!! Incorporating it into your diet is easy. There are so many ways to use it apart from salads: in sandwiches, in smoothies, pasta dishes, casseroles, omletes, frittatas, soups, stir-fries, pesto, or simply sautéed. 


HOW TO CHOOSE  WATERCRESS?
Select ones that have unblemished and unbruised healthy green leaves. 

HOW TO STORE?
Using it quickly for freshness is best, but watercress can keep up to five days when stored properly. Refrigerate, wrapped in a damp paper towel and place in a plastic bag. Or, refrigerate in a glass of water loosely covered with a plastic bag.

OTHER MAIN TYPES OF CRESSES:
While watercress may be the most popular, there are two other less known types:
  • Upland Cress (winter cress or creasy greens): Upland cress looks like watercress but with thinner stems and tender leaves. It is often sold with the root on and packaged in a bag. It has a slightly milder flavor than watercress. Like its cousin, the upland cress is also nutrient packed.
  • Garden Cress (curly cress or pepper cress): It is more pungent and peppery or horseradish like in taste. It too has many health benefits. The seeds are edible and are loaded with iron, folate, vitamin A, C, E as well as fiber and protein.



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BERRIES AND PEAR WATERCRESS SALAD WITH POPPY SEED VINAIGRETTE 



INGREDIENTS:


1 (6 ounce bunch) watercress *
8 ounce (12 large or 18 medium) strawberries, sliced 
1 cup blueberries
1 medium pear, diced
3/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup Gorgonzola 


For The Poppy Seed Vinaigrette:
2 teaspoons finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise 
5 teaspoon honey
1/4 generous teaspoon poppy seeds
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
tiny pinch of salt



INSTRUCTIONS:

Trim and discard any tough or extra long watercress stems. Add watercress to a large salad bowl. Top with strawberries, blueberries, pear, and pecans.

To make the vinaigrette, add shallot, lemon juice, mayonnaise, and honey. Whisk to combine. Slowly add oil, whisking continuously. Whisk in poppy seed and salt. Pour over salad just before serving.

Makes 4 starters or 2 main course servings.



*No need to trim stems if using baby watercress.

References:



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6 comments:

  1. Thao, this salad looks fabulous! I haven't had a watercress salad before and so I'm excited to try it. I love how it's so full of fruit and the poppy seed dressing sounds wonderful! {poopy seed, haha! :) }

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    Replies
    1. It's a typo that somehow keep on making :) I actually like mature over the baby watercress for this salad because the stems provide a nice light crunch. I hope you'll give it a try Kelly!!

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  2. I've never had watercress. Now I need to look for it! Have had a poppy seed dressing that I loved!

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    Replies
    1. I hope you'll get a chance to try the two together! I love the combo :)

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  3. Haha, Thao! I've written 'poopy seeds' more times than I can count, haha! Thank goodness for proof-reading! This salad looks so fresh and delicious!! Perfect for the summer! I want to dig in!

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  4. My fingers are on autopilot and wants to hit the "o" wice all the time!😆

    ReplyDelete