I'm kind of an all-or-nothing cook; I'll do elaborate multi-course dinner parties for 12 quite happily, but when I'm home alone, especially for lunch, I'll often resort to oatmeal or frozen pizza. So this salad is my attempt to find a happy medium: a healthy, fast meal for one. No cooking -- just washing, slicing, and drizzling -- and it's delicious. Endlessly customizable depending on what sort of greens, oil, and vinegar you have on hand. The diagonal cut on the (raw) asparagus is what makes it stand out. I like thin, young asparagus for most preparations but this is a perfect use for thicker stems. —jael
Wash and dry the watercress, discarding the stems if too bitter. Scatter on plate.
Remove the woody bottom of the asparagus stalks. Discard. Cut each asparagus spear in thin slices on a very steep diagonal, until you get to the tip. Cut each tip in quarters. Scatter the asparagus over the watercress.
Drizzle a small amount of sherry vinegar and roasted walnut oil over the salad. (Sure, you could make a vinaigrette, but drizzling does the job here -- and fast.)
Top with shavings of parmesan cheese and fresh-ground pepper. I skip the salt; the cheese is salty enough.