Savory Summer Salad with Watercress

I purchased organic watercress that came with its own roots and refrigerated the whole plant, as directed.

Recently I read that watercress is even more nutritious than kale! Could that be true? Kale is the darling of the veggie world these days, so I did a little research. On the website there is a comparison of watercress, spinach and kale. (Since I also use spinach in my salads, I thought this was a good source for all three, even though watercress & kale were my original comparisons.) Here is what author Jessica Bruso of Demand Media has to say:

People who consumed 85 grams per day of raw watercress had higher amounts of antioxidants and reduced levels of DNA damage, potentially lowering their risk for cancer, according to a study published in February 2007 in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” Watercress grows in wet areas, and each plant has three to five small, oval-shaped leaves that you can use as you would other types of greens. Compared to spinach and kale, watercress is lower in calories but also lower in most nutrients.

However, Bruso continues to write in more detail about the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in these three foods. (Click on above link for entire article.) After reading the article, my advice would be to incorporate all three veggies in your salads and cooked dishes, since each one has valuable nutrients in differing amounts. For example, kale has the highest vitamin content of these three greens, but watercress is higher in calcium.

Therefore, feel free to substitute kale or spinach for this salad, or put a little of each. Baby kale is more tender, or massage the larger kale with olive oil to soften. Watercress has a more peppery taste to tingle your taste buds, so I prefer watercress for this dish. Below is a photo of my recipe for a flavorful summer salad using watercress, followed by the recipe itself:


Utensils: Cutting board and knife, colander, grater
Prep. Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: None! 
Categories: Vegan, Gluten & Sugar Free


Organic red leaf lettuce (3 or 4 leaves)
Organic watercress (3 or 4 stems with leaves) 
Organic radicchio (It. chicory) (2 or 3 leaves)
2 or 3 Scallions
1/2 org. cucumber, sliced
1/2 Carrot, grated or thin slice of  yellow or chiaggia beet+  (I used both.)
*(Herbal-infused) olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt & pepper (may not need pepper since watercress is peppery)
Sprouts (optional)


1. Wash and dry lettuce and watercress (or spinach or kale, if using instead or in addition). I use a flour sack towel for absorbency.
2. Tear the leaves of the lettuce into small pieces, chop stems watercress, and roll radicchio leaves into a cigar shape and cut sliver crosswise on the roll.
3. Wash and slice scallions, using mostly the white parts. (Use green tops in soup stock.) Slice cucumber thinly.
4. Scrub and grate the carrot and/or make toothpick-size slivers from beet, if using. (I used a yellow beet and a chiaggio beet.)+
5. Toss with herbal-infused olive oil* (about 2 Tbl.), juice of half a lemon and salt & pepper to taste.
6. Serve on a large platter garnished with sprouts, if available. (Try pea shoots!)

*I posted an herbal infused olive oil recipe earlier this month. Here is the link:
+ Here is photo of chiaggia beets.


6 thoughts on “Savory Summer Salad with Watercress

  1. Looks so appetizing. Your photos are NYTimes quality!! Am trying to ingest more calcium via greens. Isn’t cress on the order of micro greens, which I read are more nutritious than full grown? You are an artist in food.

  2. Thanks for the tips! Water cress makes my mouth literally tingle in this hot and humid weather.
    Last night along with Kale, we had peppers stuffed with Basmati rice, carrots, onions and celery
    cooked in tomato and Basil sauce. It was filling an satisfying!

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