A colorful diet is a healthful diet. Orignally I was looking for jicama to add to this salad. It was supposed to be a jicama watercress salad with mango slices except that I couldn't find it nearby. My brain still thinks we are in San Diego but being back in Paris, this meant I'd have to find a specialty Mexican store (not near me). Popular in Mexican cuisine, jicama has also spread to find itself cultivated in Asia. Ding! So off I went to my local Asian stores in search of jicama. Well, I didn't quite find the jicama, nor was there a ripe mango ready for me, but I did wind up with a bunch of fresh nèfles (very similar to the loquats of Asia).
Upon arriving at home I was greeted by Lady Jo and was handed a basket of organic veggies. She was on duty call at her local organic co-op and got dibs on the veggies left behind. Now, just so you know, I fully support the "No Veggies Left Behind" act and accepted the vegetables gracefully. I eyed the big beetroot—for that would feed me for at least a week—and whipped out my mandoline to get working on it. So this is how a dish begins to transforms itself, jicama replaced by beet root and mangos by nèfles. Ooh, what else can I use on my mandoline since I have it out— ahhh...yes, carrots... then a little bit of this, and a little bit of that...
Watercress Salad and Cilantro Dressing
• 1 bunch watercress
• 2 carrots, julienned
• 1 medium beetroot, julienned
• 1 cup loquats (neflè), cut into bite-size pieces; mango is also a good substitution.
• Handful of sunflower seeds and linseeds (flaxseeds)
• 1 bunch coriander (cilantro)
• 1 shallot
• 1/2 lime, juiced
• 1/2 inch of ginger, fresh and grated
• 1 clove garlic
• 1 Thai chili, cut a piece according to your spice level
• 1 1/2 tablespoon tamari sauce (or soy sauce)
• 1/2 teaspoon honey (optional)
• 2 tablespoons sesame oil
• 1 tablespoon vegetable or canonla oil
Rinse the watercress and put it in your salad spinner.
Prepare a medium size bowl. Separate and discard the stalks from the leaves, keeping just the thin, top bit of the stalks attached to the leaves.
With your mandoline, prepared your carrots and beetroot and set them aside.
Cut your fruit into bite size pieces.
Prepare your dressing by combing all the ingredients into a food processor.
Process until smooth.
In a salad bowl, add your watercress and pour in the dressing.
Toss together so that the watercress is drenched in the dressing, and then add in the rest of the ingredients.
Sprinkle some sunflower seeds and linseeds (flaxseeds) over your salad before serving.