If you’re a forager, one of the first wild greens to pop up in slow moving, shaded streams is watercress. And like mushrooms, once you find a spot it usually becomes your “secret spot.” When we start to see warmer days—above say 45°— that’s the signal to start looking for ‘cress. It’s my favorite wild green to incorporate into salads but it also wilts down nicely in a little butter and shallots for the forager’s version of beans and greens. To get you in the mood for spring, Verjooz made by Finger Lakes Food Company in Hector makes a great zingy vinaigrette that’s a perfect substitute for vinegar or citrus and it’s much more wine friendly. Grab a loaf of bread, a glass of Riesling or Gewürztraminer and make yourself a salad. Warmer days are on the way.
Wild Watercress and Goat Cheese Salad with Verjooz Vinaigrette
By Brud Holland
You can substitute watercress with high tunnel grown, local greens from The Good Life Farm.
Makes 6 servings
1⁄4 cup Verjooz
1 tablespoon David Farm honey
1 garlic clove, sliced thin
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
Pinch kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
3⁄4 cup Regional Pantry sunflower oil
1 pound watercress
8 ounces Lively Run goat cheese
Micro-greens from Thunder Mountain Foods, for garnish
In a large bowl, whisk together the Verjooz, honey, garlic, mustard, salt and parsley until the salt and honey dissolve. Whisk in the sunflower oil.
and build the salad, trim the watercress just above the roots. Then rinse in cold water and dry in a salad spinner or between paper towels. In a large bowl, toss with enough dressing to just coat the leaves and stems. Divide between 6 plates or bowls and dot with nuggets of goat cheese and small handful of micro-greens. Serve with crusty bread and garlic herb butter.