My apologies for having gone missing in action. (Apparently I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.) I’ve been working on recipe development and writing for my next cookbook, The Brassicas: Learning to Cook the World’s Healthiest Vegetables, which will be published by Ten Speed Press next spring. I’ll be wrapping up the manuscript over the next few weeks, and hopefully you’ll be hearing a lot more from me at that point.
Turns out one of my favorite brassicas (if I could possibly choose) is cress–either watercress or land cress–and it’s the perfect peppery addition to this main dish salad. Watercress grows in water and generally comes sold in a bunch. Its stems are a little thick and wiry, though certainly edible. Cut them off at the point you consider too thick to eat. Land cress (or Upland cress) is often sold with a ball of dirt still attached to its roots. The stems are more delicate, yet still pack a punch. Cut off the dirt ball before you rinse the leaves. You can use any type of cress for this salad (stores generally only sell one or the other), though I prefer the land cress for its wispy stems.
You can simmer a pot of beans to use in the salad, or follow my weeknight lead and just used canned. If you keep canned tuna and beans on hand, the meal will come together in no time. Hard to find watercress in your area? Simply substitute baby arugula or spinach for an equally delicious salad. Enjoy! ~LbR