A MONTH OF SALADS - Day 10

Apologies for posting this a day late. I fell asleep at 7.30 last night, before I could post about the salad. The salad! Sometimes, simple is best. Truthfully for me (and I'm guessing for most of you), simple needs to be central to dinner prep on all nights. This simple salad is one of my general go-tos, although I did add a new ingredient. In the spirit of broadening my horizons, I thought to include something I have never used before. Ta-da! Watercress!

 You need to pull the leaves and discard the stems for watercress.

You need to pull the leaves and discard the stems for watercress.

Watercress grows near water, and is a distant cousin of mustard. For those who are curious, it's a densely packed wallop of a salad ingredient, providing us with vitamin K, necessary for bones and brain health. It's also of good support to the liver, also protecting our DNA and red blood cells from free radical damage. I de-stemmed about half a bunch of watercress, put it on top of a bed of mixed greens, sliced strawberries and sprinkled pistachios on top. The crunch factor is a very important part of salad success.

As for the dressing, I mixed olive oil, rice wine vinegar (3:1 ratio), spoonful of honey, about a teaspoon of dijon mustard, pinch of sea salt, grind of pepper and added some lemon thyme leaves from my garden out back. Fresh herbs can really liven up a salad, and adding them to your dressing is a brilliant way to up the nutritional ante: herbs and spices are often densely packed nutrient bundles of flavour. That's a win in my books.

This salad was quite fresh and took all of 10 minutes to assemble, mostly due to the stripping of stems on the watercress. Imagine if you grew it in your back yard though! How much easier it would be, you could pick it early and just use the baby cress in your salad. I dream big, kids. I dream big.

Speaking of back yards… We went a little hog wild today and built a few hugelkultur beds, in order to increase the yield of our back yard. We built a few beds and built up former garden boxes, and covered them in salad greens and chard, zucchini, beans, carrots and beets, liberally sprinkled in some calendula, marigolds and nasturtiums. It's going to be a tasty and super fresh summer.