This number is the perfect little side salad for the holidays: refreshing, super quick to whip up, and it will surely make an impression with its gorgeous bright colors. Watercress is a very underrated leaf. It's such a nutrient bomb with more Vitamin C than oranges for a strong immune system, more iron than spinach for lots of energy, and more potassium than bananas for healthy muscles. Yet often watercress is only used as decoration on a plate in a fancy restaurant, when it is probably the most nutritious thing on the entire plate! It has a slight peppery taste, and does well with light, lemony dressings. In this salad, it is combined with the bright citrus taste of blood oranges, and the creaminess of avocado. Serve it with any holiday meal this season or whip it up in 5 minutes when dinner needs to get on the table.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Makes 1 main serving or 2 sides:
For the salad:
- 2 handful of watercress, roughly chopped
- 2 blood oranges
- 1 avocado
- 1 Tbsp hemp seeds
For the dressing:
- 5 fresh mint leaves
- zest of one lime
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp honey
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Start by making the dressing. Finely chop the mint, and whisk it together with all the other ingredients. You can also throw the dressing ingredients in the food processor and whisk it up, but that means one more thing to wash up :-)
Add the watercress to a bowl.
Cut the top and the bottom of the blood orange off. Then stand it up, and run the knife down the sides to get off the peel. You don't want white skin left behind, but just glorious red flesh. Now you can filet the blood orange if you want to be fancy. This means you take a small knife, and cut out the flesh segments in between the thin walls of the blood orange. Honestly, I don't do that step. I just chop up the blood orange, and add them to the bowl.
Halve the avocado, take out the pit, then slice it into thin slices. Take a spoon to spoon out the slices, and add them to the bowl.
Now drizzle half of the dressing, and toss. Taste and decide if you need more dressing. You don't want to overdress the watercress, and make it all soggy, but you definitely want the flavor of the dressing to shine through.
Sprinkle with hemp seeds, and serve right away.
If you want to prepare the salad ahead of time, keep the dressing on the side, and only dress the salad before serving it.