Ancient Greeks and Romans believed that watercress cured madness. Early settlers brought watercress to America for its antiscurvy properties. The settlers were right: This peppery plant contains useful amounts of vitamin C. I expect you'll be mad for this salad, whose nutritional attributes are enhanced with tomatoes and good olive oil.
2 large bunches watercress, about 1/2 pound
3 large ripe beefsteak tomatoes, about 10 ounces each
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Wash watercress and dry thoroughly. Pluck thick stems from 1 bunch and discard (reserve the other bunch and set aside for later). Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Add plucked watercress and blanch for 1 minute. Drain immediately in a colander under cold water. Squeeze out excess water.
Place cooked watercress in bowl of a food processor. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons water. Process until smooth. Add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Process again and set aside.
Wash tomatoes. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices vertically. Cut each slice into julienned strips, about 1/4-inch thick. Toss with remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil, and sea salt and pepper.
Arrange julienned tomatoes in center of 4 large plates. Divide remaining watercress into 4 bunches, removing most of the thick stems. Place watercress on and around tomatoes. Drizzle with watercress oil.
The Ultimate Three-Ingredient Cookbook
By Rozanne Gold
Stewart, Tabori & Chang, April 2001
Hardback, $35.00, 224 pages
Over 200 recipes, 50 full-color photographs
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created May 2001
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