Before last week I didn’t even know what watercress was. I mean, I knew it was a green leafy vegetable, but that was it. And then I got some in our CSA box last week. It’s just been sitting in the refrigerator. Then I was talking to my mom about it, and she told me my granddad loved it and my grandma used to wilt it. Mom saves the day! Wilted watercress! Oh the possibilities! First, I tasted it raw to get an idea of how I might prepare it. It’s spicy! Like arugula. Turns out, watercress is in the same family as mustard and radishes. And, as a bonus, just one cup of chopped watercress contains only 4 calories, but 24% of your daily value of vitamin C, 32% of your daily value of vitamin A, and over 200% of your daily value of vitamin K (note to those on anticoagulant medication)!
Typically, when greens are wilted, there is bacon involved. I LOVE bacon! But eating bacon all the time is a shortcut to heart disease, so I try not to eat it TOO much. I’ve found a way around that! My new love in the kitchen: smoked paprika. Seriously. Buy some now! I found it in the international section of my grocery store, but you should be able to find it in the regular spice aisle.
Or click on the picture below to find it on the internet:
Trust me, you will want to make this! It’s crunchy, not overwhelmingly spicy, bacony (I’m lobbying for that to be a word), and tangy all in one little delicious, healthy side dish. I served this with grilled chicken and baked potatoes. It was perfect! I don’t think a spring evening could be completed any better!
WILTED WATERCRESS SALAD WITH BALSAMIC LEMON PEPPER DRESSING
Ingredients for Watercress Salad
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 medium Onion, diced
2 Tbsp diced Garlic
1 ½ tsp Smoked Paprika
1/3 lb Watercress
Ingredients for Dressing
¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Lemon Pepper Seasoning
Directions for Watercress Salad
1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.
2. When hot, add onion, garlic, paprika, and salt, and sauté until onion is translucent.
3. Add watercress to pan. Put lid on pan and cook until wilted, but not completely cooked down.
Directions for Dressing
1. Combine vinegar, oil, and lemon pepper, and whisk until combined.
Serve watercress hot, drizzled with about 2 teaspoons of the dressing. See? It even LOOKS like it has bacon in it!
Happy, healthy eating!