Sunday, August 31, 2008

Watercress with Fragrant Wasabi Dressing

Mother Nature wants to compensate for the “wishy-washy” summer we’ve been having so far, by sending us, at last, some warm and sunny weather, for more than five straight days. Couldn’t be better timing as I was on vacation the past few days. One text message I received from a friend the other day read; “am I seeing things, like… a bright sun?” What I mean by “wishy-washy” is that we, Montrealers took the slightly bothersome habit of carrying our umbrellas every single day throughout the entire summer. For instance, we would walk out of our homes with full sunshine beaming at our doorsteps, but then later on we’d be running “au plus sacrant” a few minutes later, for shelter to flee the sudden heavy rain. Go figure. We gave up consulting the local weather channel and just relied on our umbrellas. Even one of my Facebook friends wanted to rename the Facebook Montreal Network to the Vancouver network!

But now that we’ve been having continuous sunshine, unfortunately near the end of summer, we’ve really been taking advantage of it by BBQ’ing like there’s no tomorrow, going to the pool, taking nice evening walks after dinner, or hanging out at outdoor cafés. For these summery days, one can only think of preparing a great refreshing salad.

I stumbled upon this recipe which is by far one of the simplest, yet innovative, salad recipes I’ve tried, while watching one of Nigella Lawson’s cooking episodes on the Food network. In my book, Nigella Lawson is a true cooking goddess who isn’t shy of showing how much she really enjoys eating good food. In fact, her well- endowed figure nicely represents her passion for good eating and cooking. Admirable.
Just to give this salad a bit more crispiness and coolness, I added some soya bean sprouts Excellent.

Preparation: 10 minutes tops

Recipe "au pif":
Fresh watercress, enough to serve 4, well rinsed and washed
1 cup fresh soya bean sprouts
1 cup fresh sugar snaps ( (remove string running along the top of the pod from base to tip)
4 tbsp Canola oil (or any vegetable oil)
3 tsp lime juice
1 tsp wasabi paste (any asian grocery store)
½ tsp coarse sea salt (or ¼ tsp fine table salt)

Soak the sugar snaps in very hot water. Let it sit and rest and put aside for a few minutes. This should remove the “raw” taste of the sugar snaps but at the same time retain their crunch and sweetness. After roughly 5 minutes discard water through sieve.

In a large salad bowl, mix the watercress, soya bean sprouts and sugar snaps.

In a small jar, mix the oil, lime juice, wasabi paste and salt. Close lid tightly and shake the jar the dressing ingredients are well blended together.

Drizzle generously the wasabi dressing over the salad mix. Mix well and serve.

The wasabi perks up the salad with a tinge of heat.

Serves 4 people.



At Home with Kim Vallee said...

Thank you for sharing. I probably make a different salad almost every meal. Watercress is one of my favorite greens.

Maggie said...

It's really hard to find watercress in our area but the lime-wasabi dressing sounds delicious! I'll definitely give it a try.

QlinArt said...

Hello Maggie,
Thank you very much for taking the time to drop by my blog and for your great comments.

If you can't find watercress, Aragula (roquette salad) could also work - it has that strong sharp taste which goes very well with wasabi. Even spinach is great - tried it myself.

Bon appetit!


Bentoist said...

I have only used watercress in chinese soups, and stayed away from salads so far. Your recipe looks like something I can manage without messing it up. Thanks!

Marija said...

What a lovely blog you have! I'm so happy to find you! I'll be coming back for more :)

Caviar and Codfish said...

I'm so happy to find your blog, it's fantastic.

I'm so pissed about this weather - it's finally swimming weather and I've started back at the high school I work at! Oh well, I guess I must swim after school.

Love this salad (and also love Nigella - she's great, eh?)


foodhoe said...

ooh what a lovely picture and it sounds so snappy and delicious!

QlinArt said...

Thanks very much for the wonderful comments.
And yes indeed, I love Nigella lawson, she is an awesome cook.