Ok, so “red gold” is code for “beet”. I use it because too many people think they don’t like beets, so they see the very word and start clicking somewhere else. Stay here! Beets are incredibly delicious, easy to cook, easy to use, easier to eat.
And they’re perfect on this salad, which I always serve at Christmas because it is so Christmas-y. Intensely green watercress, vivid red beets, what could be more festive? Then add a richly flavored vinaigrette and you’ve got perfection.
The idea of this salad is to serve it as a first course. After you’ve had a glass of bubbly and a few yummy appetizers, then everyone sits at the table and you serve this salad. You watch: eyes light up as hands lift forks. Then, with the first taste you’ll start to hear a low hum, then an audible “Yum”.
This salad goes together quickly, once the beets are cooked. Watch the video for tips and tricks, then make this and enjoy a gorgeous meal, at the holidays or any time while beets are in season (autumn through winter, then again in late spring…). And if you can’t find watercress, try arugula or a mix of baby lettuce leaves.
Watercress and Red Gold Salad
- 1 medium sized beet or 2 small beets, cooked and peeled
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup (80ml) 80ml extra virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots sliced paper-thin
- 6 cups (250g) watercress sprigs
- ½ cup cup (110g) toasted almonds
- Cut the beet into small dice. Reserve.
- In a large bowl whisk together the vinegar with salt and pepper to taste, until the salt dissolves. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until the mixture is emulsified. Stir in the shallots and season to taste.
- Place 2 tablespoons of the dressing in a small bowl. Add the diced beet and toss, so all the pieces are thoroughly coated with dressing. Reserve.
- Add the watercress to the remaining dressing in the large bowl, toss gently butthoroughly so the watercress leaves are coated with the dressing, then add thealmonds. Toss again, and divide among six plates, making sure the almonds are arranged so that they can be seen. Sprinkle equal amounts of the beets atop the salad and serve immediately.