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Author Notes: This recipe caught my eye on Vegetarian Times, so I happily decided to adapt this recipe and adjust some ingredients to make it my own little twist. The watercress was a perfect contrast to the sweet ripe summer nectarines and vinaigrette, of which I switched out from the original raspberry vinegar to a mix of my own using some homemade fig and strawberry jam & ACV (apple cider vinegar) + tarragon. And instead of pecans I used toasted hazelnuts; a greater "crunch" to my salad in my opinion. It was a HUGE hit at my family get together. —Stacy
For the Salad:
- 2 bunches watercress, leaves and tender stems
- 2 nectarines, thinly sliced in moon-shapes
- 3/4-1 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 japanese (or persian) cucumbers, thinly sliced at a diagonal
- 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts
For the Dressing:
- 1/4 Fig-Strawberry vinegar (see below)
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced in rings
- 1 overly riped nectarine, peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or grapeseed oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- For the Fig-Strawberry Vinegar: 1 teaspoon of fig-strawberry jam, 1-2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar/sherry vinegar, dash of rice wine vinegar.
- For the dressing: Pour fig-strawberry vinegar over shallots. Let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes. Place the rest of the ingredients into a food processor to blend. Once vinegar-shallot is done, add the vinegar reserving the shallots. Season with salt and pepper to desired taste.
- Toast hazelnuts: In a dry pan toast on low-medium until slightly blistered. Put on a tea towel and roll until skin comes off. Roughly chop. Reserve to top the salad.
- For the salad: Toss all salad ingredients together into a large bowl. Drizzle vinaigrette to coat, add reserved shallots (if desired), and toasted hazelnuts before serving.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Green Holiday Side