To make a watercress salad, first trim a bunch of watercress. Peel and dice a large cucumber, and chop 1/2 cup of parsley. Combine these ingredients in a bowl. In another bowl, mix 2 tablespoons honey and 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar. Add a splash of water, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Now add 1/4 cup olive oil, and whisk the dressing. Serve immediately. This recipe yields four servings.
Aged cheddar is a good match for the robust flavor of watercress. For a more piquant combination, try blue cheese. On the other end of the spectrum is feta, which gives a smoother result. Fruits that go well with watercress include apple, pear, grapes and grapefruit. To make a watercress version of the classic Waldorf, start with watercress, diced apple, walnuts and raisins, and dress with mayonnaise.
Bulk up a watercress salad to turn it into a meal. Martha Stewart recommends roasting sweet potatoes. Cut 2 sweet potatoes into matchsticks, toss them in olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 35 minutes. Turn them halfway. Toss 1/2 cup of walnuts with 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper and a few drops of olive oil. Oven roast for about six minutes. Make a dressing by whisking together 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon honey. Combine the salad ingredients and dressing, and top with crumbled feta cheese.
Watercress has a distinct, peppery flavor, which combines well with a variety of ingredients. A watercress and cucumber salad offers a good base. Other ingredients may also be added, such as nuts, cheese or fruit. Both walnuts and pecan nuts work well.