We went to visit my mom a few weeks ago and I typically take her to the grocery store while I’m there. On this trip, she suggested trying to find watercress. It’s funny how little things bring back such strong memories, but one of my favorite salads she made was her endive and watercress salads she would make every spring. We recreated that salad while I was there and then I came home and started looking for watercress so I could make my own.
There isn’t too much involved with this watercress and pear salad – which is probably why I love it! You can easily pull this together for a quick lunch for you and a friend or as a side for a light dinner meal on a warm night.
You can mix up the ingredients as well and use what you have. I thought the flavors I added worked well but mix it up and see what works for you. This salad is perfect for 2 people!
What you need to make it
- Watercress – I was able to find “living” watercress in my local Whole Foods. It is sold wit the roots attached. Store it in a glass of water, covered and it will last for about a week in the refrigerator.
- Canned Pears – Fresh pears really aren’t great this time of year, but canned pears are always in season! I almost always have a can in my pantry. Canned pears are hand picked and packed at the peak of ripeness, they are always perfect.
- Canned Hearts of Palm: Never heard of it? Hearts of palm are from certain types of palm trees. You can find them in the canned vegetable section of the grocery store. They are mild, low in fat, high in fiber, and contain about 2g of protein per 1/2 cup serving.
- Avocado – I like avocado in this salad because I think it helps mellow the “bite” from the watercress.
- Radish – Another spring vegetable that is full of flavor. I used a watermelon radish for this salad because I love the color and they are a bit milder than a regular radish.
- Manchego Cheese: You can skip this but it adds some protein and mellowness to the salad.
- Lemon Wine Vinaigrette: I make just enough for 2 salads but you can double the recipe below for more. It is super quick to pull together and the fresh lemon juice adds a bright burst of flavor, and it keeps the avocado from browing too quickly!
Living Watercress – Watercress grows in water so it makes sense to buy it with the roots still intact. To store them submerge the roots in a glass filled with water, cover the leaves with plastic and store it in your refrigerator. Change the water daily and it will keep for about a week!
Let me know what you think of this Watercress and Pear Salad in the comments. Is there any ingredient you’d add or anything you’d skip?
Watercress Salad with Pears and a Lemon Wine Vinaigrette
- 2 cups watercress leaves washed, trimmed
- 1 cup sliced canned pears drained
- ¼ cup sliced hearts of palm canned
- ½ avocado sliced
- ¼ cup sliced watermelon radish
- 2 tbsp shredded manchego cheese
Lemon Wine Vinaigrette
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- ½ tsp honey
- ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
Lemon Wine Vinaigrette
- Place the olive oil in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the lemon juice and white wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place washed watercress in the salad spinner and spin to dry. Trim the stems so you have ~ 2-inch pieces of watercress with the leaves.
- Place watercress on a plate and top with the sliced pears, avocado, hearts of palm, and radishes.
- Sprinkle with manchego cheese and drizzle with 1 – ½ tablespoons of dressing.