Warm Gingery Watercress Salad

So, I don’t have cable TV… because if I did, I would be in the kitchen every 5 minutes making whatever they’re doing on the Food Network.  You see, I am highly food-suggestible, and if I see something I want to try I have to have it NOW and can’t think about anything else until I get it.

Such was the case when I saw the ever-charming Laura Calder doing her relaxed and inspiring thing on French Food at Home.  She was pulling together a watercress salad with a gingery bite, a savoury bread pudding with tomato jam (already on the To Make list), and some meat-y things.

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The watercress salad needed to make its way into my mouth, stat.  I tried to pull it together for a dinner party last weekend but too many other good things got in my way… so I made it to go alongside the super-rich Gruyère Cheese & Tarragon Soufflé.  And ohhh was it lovely.  The ginger and the slightly-hot aleppo pepper gave it just enough kick to balance out the soufflé.

What is this mysterious Aleppo pepper, you may ask?  Well, it’s a new-to-me Middle Eastern/Mediterranean crushed pepper.  Just like I normally use red chili flakes, Aleppo pepper is used on the other side of the world as a spice.  I’ve been tossing it in everything lately just to try it out, (and it works really well in hummus too!), and it’s just such a pretty bright red zip!  If you’re in Toronto, I found it in one of the basement shops of the St. Lawrence Market’s South Market.

This is an easy go-to-greens-treatment that I’ll definitely be making on weeknights for a quick meal.  I think you could add some roasted chickpeas rather successfully, kind of like my Swiss Chard & Roasted Chickpeas.  I will be experimenting next with this treatment on some kale or chard… let me know if you give it a shot!  And enjoy!

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Warm Gingery Watercress Salad
Adapted from Laura Calder’s Gingered Watercress, Serves 2

  • 1 big bunch of watercress, rinsed & dried
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2″ nub of fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tomatoes or 2 handfuls of grape tomatoes, diced
  • 1 big pinch of seasoned pepper (a store-bought blend of black pepper, parsley, basil, onion & garlic), or salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. crushed dried aleppo pepper or dried red chili flakes

In a large pan, heat the oil then add the garlic and ginger and cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes.  Add the tomato, and cook 5 minutes more, until everything is smooshy.

Chop the cress in half so it is easier to eat, and add to the pan.  Cook until tender and slightly wilted, about 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.  Season with seasoned pepper or salt & pepper and aleppo pepper or dried red chili flakes.

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Serve warm and enjoy!

Tags: , , , , , ,

Categories: Gluten-Free, Salad, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

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One Comment on “Warm Gingery Watercress Salad”

  1. November 15, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    What a delectable & tasty salad!! I love watercress & ginger,..yummie!

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