Watercress Salad with Strawberries and Feta
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Watercress Salad with Strawberries and Feta! Such a great way to enjoy fresh spring fruits and vegetables. Toss with a simple champagne vinaigrette.
Photography Credit:Sally Vargas
Featured in 10 Salads to Take for Lunch
Spring has finally arrived, and with it the appearance of longed-for exhilarating spring flavors. Like strawberries!
Once you have savored these fresh, ripe berries for breakfast, in a pie, and in a bowl covered with cream, you’ll start looking around for other ways to use them.
Might I suggest this simple, yet beautiful, spring salad?
This salad features all four of my favorite flavor components: something sweet (juicy strawberries), salty (fresh feta), crunchy (toasted almonds), and refreshing (cucumbers).
Add one more element of “something unexpected” and you have a salad that really sings. Here, the surprise is the peppery explosion of watercress and radishes and some lively mint. (You could use either mint or basil, or both, depending on what you can find—they add a nice punch to the salad.)
If you are lucky enough to find young watercress with thin, tender stems, you will not need to do anything except rinse and shake off the moisture. For bunches with thicker, tougher stems, just remove the bottom thick ends, and keep the leaves on their upper stems.
And let’s not leave out the visuals. Serve this stunning tangle of spring ingredients all by itself on salad plates so you can really show off its beauty. It’s almost too pretty to eat! But of course, you should.
Watercress Salad with Strawberries and Feta Recipe
If your watercress has thin, tender stems, you will not need to do anything except rinse and shake off the moisture. For bunches with thicker, tougher stems, just remove the bottom thick ends, and keep the leaves on their upper stems.
The almonds can be toasted up to a day ahead of time, but wait to assemble the salad until just before serving.
If you can only find standard cucumbers, cut the cucumber in half and scoop out the seeds in the middle before slicing.
Recipe can be doubled or tripled if needed.
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
For the salad:
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- 1 bunch watercress, any thick stems removed (about 4 cups)
- 1/2 cup packed mint or basil leaves, or a combination of both, roughly chopped
- 16 ripe strawberries, hulled and halved lengthwise
- 6 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 Persian or English cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta
1 Toast the almonds: Preheat the oven to 350F. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and bake for 7 to 9 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
2 Make the dressing: In a small bowl whisk the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in the oil. Taste and add more honey, salt, or pepper, if you like.
3 Assemble the salad: In a salad bowl, toss the watercress, mint and/or basil, strawberries, radishes, and cucumber with half the dressing. Taste and continue adding additional dressing until the salad is evenly coated with dressing and flavorful.
Top with crumbled feta and toasted almonds, and serve.
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Honey Roasted Strawberry Feta Salad
I know this makes me weird but one thing I always feel is missing from party spreads is a nice big salad.
There&rsquos always plenty of chips, dips, finger foods, cheese and fruit platters, but hardly ever anything green!
It kinda drives me nuts because if there&rsquos a nice big pile of green next to the chips, cheese and whatever other carb fest foods are at my disposal, it obviously completely negates those things (and means I can try one of every dessert).
And then of course when there is, it&rsquos some mixed iceberg salad with your typical cherry tomatoes, carrots and bottled dressing options.
This post is brought to you by President Cheese.
So when Président® asked me to share one of their recipes that would be perfect for parties, I picked a salad that would garner a bit more excitement.
This roasted strawberry feta salad is definitely party worthy.
Strawberries and feta are a classic combination. The sweet and salty thing just works.
To make things even sweeter and deepen the flavor a bit, these strawberries took a little bath with some honey and then got all hot and bothered in the oven for about 30 minutes.
The result is a deliciously sweet, roasted soft berry whose juice is drizzled on top as the dressing.
No oil or vinegar even needed.
Combined with the salty feta crumbles, peppery watercress, fresh shaved asparagus and toasted walnuts, I&rsquom betting no one is going to miss the iceberg.
If you want to use another green besides watercress (which I personally love but I get that some think it&rsquos too peppery), baby spinach would be great. Although predictable because isn&rsquot spinach always used with strawberries?
Another option would be the Asian version of spinach: tatsoi. Tatsoi makes a great salad green and is a bit more exciting than traditional spinach.
Baby chard or baby kale would also work well. Up to you, those honey roasted strawberries are really the star of the salad show anyway!
Watercress, Strawberry & Feta Cream Salad – Recipe!
I have spring on the brain, even though most of the country is still fighting the cold weather. Here in Los Angeles we are lucky enough to have fresh organic strawberries already. Growing up in Southern California, we used to stop at the roadside stands and buy fresh strawberries as soon as the farmers started selling them. I love strawberries in a variety of things, but especially salads. Strawberries heighten the flavors of other vegetables when paired together, that’s why they go so well with greens.
Watercress is one of those greens that is sometimes overlooked, but it is actually packed with tons of vitamins and has a slight earthy taste, that’s unique. When strawberries and watercress are combined the flavors are delightful and the feta cream just adds some salty magic to the salad. This salad is great for lunch or dinner and you can double or triple the recipe if needed.
3 cups watercress, organic preferably
6 large organic strawberries
2 heaping tablespoon light sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed from stems
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
1. Wash and dry the watercress and place in a bowl. In a stand mixer or a large bowl, combine the feta, sour cream, thyme leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend the mixture together on high speed for 2 minutes, or until light and creamy. Place the feta cream in a bowl.
2. Wash and slice the strawberries and place them in a bowl. In a mason jar, combine the mustard, vinegar, agave nectar, olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Shake the jar until the vinaigrette has thickened slightly, about 1 minute.
3. To plate the salads, get all the ingredients in place (mise en place) and make a schmear of feta cream on one side of the salad plate. You will probably have some feta cream leftover, but it makes a great dip with fresh veggies.
4. Then, add some watercress to the center of the plate and top with half the strawberries. Sprinkle the salad with almonds.
5. Using a teaspoon, drizzle a little vinaigrette over the entire salad. Enjoy!
Strawberry Shrimp and Feta Salad
Recipe courtesy of California Strawberry Commission.
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons water
2 cups (about 10 ounces) fresh strawberries, stemmed and quartered
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
3/4 pound peeled and deveined raw shrimp
8 cups mixed salad greens, such as butter lettuce and watercress
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1 small cucumber, sliced (about 24 slices)
- For Vinaigrette: In small bowl, whisk together ingredients for vinaigrette.
- Over gas or charcoal grill or in grill pan on stove top, grill shrimp 5 minutes, turning once, or until pink and cooked through.
- In small bowl, toss strawberries with 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette.
- In large bowl, toss greens and onion with remaining vinaigrette to coat lightly.
- Divide among 4 chilled salad plates and arrange strawberries and shrimp on top of greens. Sprinkle with cheese and garnish with slices of cucumber, equally divided.
- For a variation, substitute shredded smoked chicken for the shrimp.
- Pre-cooked, shelled shrimp may be substituted for grilled shrimp.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/4 of recipe): Calories: 304 Total Fat: 17g Cholesterol: 192mg Total Carbs: 15g Fiber: 5g Protein: 25g Sodium: 808mg.
Recipe and photograph courtesy of California Strawberry Commission. Used with permission.
Whisk the strawberry salad's dressing together
With the strawberries prepped and set aside, you're ready to make your dressing, which works to marinade the strawberries as well. In a small bowl, add your olive oil, vinegar, honey, shallots, salt and pepper. This combination of ingredients offers a sweet and tart flavor combination, with the balsamic vinegar and honey counterbalancing each other (not entirely unlike the combination of sweetness and tartness you find in strawberries themselves). When the ingredients are thoroughly whisked, you're ready to marinate.
Make Strawberry Salad Your Way&hellip
- You could easily use raspberries in place of strawberries they work really well flavour wise with the feta cheese.
- If you like your salad with spice then simply add a touch of heat with a pinch of chilli flakes or even some freshly chopped chillies. I love candied jalapeños for adding a kick to this recipe.
- When I add chillies to this I blister the skins first on the hob. Then pop them into a small bowl covered in clingfilm and leave them to steam. Next, scrape the skins and chop the chilli flesh. It&rsquos delicious!
- It&rsquos really easy to switch the watercress and rocket salad for baby leaf salad or a Bistro mix with raw shredded beets.
- 2 Cups kale, spinach or arugula chopped
- 1/4 Cup feta
- 2 Tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons pecans, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 3 strawberries, sliced parallel to the stem
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Step 1: Combine 2 cups of chopped kale, spinach or arugula, 1/4 cup feta, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, 2 tablespoons chopped pecans, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar in a salad bowl.
Step 2: Drizzle with oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
Strawberry Watercress Salad with Vinaigrette
Warm olive oil in small pan on medium-low heat. Add chopped strawberries and shallots cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar, remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Transfer to blender add mint, cannaoil, sea salt and pepper puree until smooth.
Warm small skillet over medium heat. Add almonds cook until golden brown, stirring constantly, 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate cool to room temperature.
Fill large bowl with cold water add watercress. Let stand 10 minutes to rehydrate dry thoroughly, ideally in salad spinner.
In salad bowl, combine watercress, almonds, cheese, sliced strawberries and kosher salt with ¼ vinaigrette toss gently, adding more vinaigrette to taste. Remaining dressing can be refrigerated up to 3 days. Makes 4 servings, about 1.9 mg THC each, based on a 15 percent strain.
This salad was a day I was inspired by for seasonal offers from my garden and the market of our local farmers. I topped fresh spinach with sliced strawberries and cucumber and tossed some toasted nuts on top. I usually use pecans and cashews, but you can really use whatever you have on hand.
When my garden ran out of fresh strawberries and spinach one day, I made the trip to the market of our local farmers and discovered a new vendor selling homemade, raw, grass-fed cheese. Yes please! I decided to try all kinds … because of the cheese!
He hadn’t used the fact too much before and wasn’t sure what to do with it. But I thought, in case of doubt, I would throw it over a salad. So I did. And it was delicious.
Tomato, Red Onion, Watercress, Feta and Olive Salad
15 minutes gets you to an explosion of summery color and flavor in a bowl.
There are a few foods I can eat like someone may be about to ship me off on an ice floe. One is sushi. Truly do not put yourself between me and a piece of raw salmon you could get hurt. Another is popcorn. I make a huge pot of stovetop popcorn several times a week, and I eat about half, and my family gets to share the other half. It’s not the prettiest thing to watch.
And also there is salad. I can eat a very large quantity of pretty much any kind of salad, as can most of my family, most of the time. Regular readers of this blog will know that there is a deep and abiding level of adoration for Greek Salad amongst my people (by this I mean my family, as opposed to Jews or New Yorkers, say). Jack and I are the leaders of the Greek Salad Fan Club, but Charlie and Gary are both card-carrying members.
Also: if there weren’t such tangible consequences I could also eat French fries until I fell over, but I don’t allow myself to do this. Much. Thank god many of the dishes my family orders in restaurants come with fries, so I can be enabled, but not too often.
Back to salad. Do you love watercress? I LOVE watercress, which I know is a slightly weird thing to say (or even to know about oneself). But it seems like it’s not all that available, and when you can find it it’s pricey or just not looking all that fresh and perky. It’s a fragile green, with a short shelf life, but it’s so amazingly fresh and kind of grassy tasting in a great way that we all need to persevere and find it and use it.
Kind of like a Greek Salad, only with watercress and a longer name. A perfect summer salad.Tweet This
So, this Tomato, Red Onion, Watercress, Feta and Olive Salad is kind of—kind of—like a Greek Salad, but with watercress instead of either no lettuce (actually very traditional), or romaine (very common here in the U.S.). And it has sherry vinegar in the dressing, where red wine vinegar is more traditional, and also fresh basil added, not oregano, which is also a bit of a departure. So, kind of.
I want you to look at the amount of salad in this bowl. It was intended to serve 8 people. It served 4, and I can tell you that the other three people at the table had fairly normal sized portions. Hey, better than French fries right? I have a major in English but a minor in justification.
Other Salad Recipes:
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