This watercress salad recipe is a nutrition powerhouse! Made with green apple, cucumber, almonds, pecorino, and a lemon vinaigrette dressing, this side salad is light, crisp, and refreshing. Ready in just 20 minutes!
PREP WATERCRESS: If using watercress still attached to its roots and soil, simply cut near the soil to separate the leaves and stems. Place leaves in a salad spinner and rinse dirt off with cold water. Spin until dry.
MAKE DRESSING: In a small bowl or jar with a lid, whisk or shake all dressing ingredients together.
PLATE SALAD: In a large mixing bowl, add watercress, chopped apples, chopped cucumber, sliced almonds, and pecorino cheese.
ADD DRESSING: Pour dressing overtop and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately!
*NUMBER OF SERVINGS:
If this salad is your only side to a protein dish, this recipe as written will make about 2 larger (more entree-style) servings.
If it's part of an assortment of side dishes, this recipe as written will be good for about 4 people!
*LEFTOVERS & MAKING AHEAD:
This salad is best enjoyed immediately, but can be kept for up to 1 day in an airtight container in the fridge.
If making in advance, keep the salad dressing in a separate jar until ready to serve. You may also prefer chopping up the apple immediately before serving, to prevent it from browning!
If you can't find watercress, the best substitutes would be baby arugula (rocket) or radish sprouts - they have a similar peppery taste to them.
You may use any type of apple, but I enjoyed this with a green apple as it's a little more tart!
I used pre-sliced almonds, but you are welcome to chop raw almonds on your own. Otherwise, you may use walnuts instead. For a nut-free option, simply omit or swap with something like pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
You may use freshly-grated parmesan in place of pecorino, if preferred.
If necessary, you may use apple cider vinegar in place of white wine vinegar (although it does have a stronger flavour).
You may use freshly minced garlic cloves in place of garlic powder if you prefer a more garlicky punch. I'd aim for about 2 cloves!