Tag Archives: watercress

Warm Beef and Watercress Salad

The recipe below comes from Vietnam. Contrast and balance are important elements in most Asian cooking, and salads similar to this, which combine warm and cool elements in one dish, are common throughout Southeast Asia. Enjoy.

Warm Beef and Watercress Salad

3/4 lb. beef tenderloin, sirloin steak, or filet mignon
1 Tbs. green peppercorns, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
3 stems lemon grass (white part only), very thinly sliced,
or 1 slightly rounded tsp. finely grated lemon rind
3 Tbs. vegetable oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 tsp. ground black pepper
8 oz. watercress (about 1-1/2 average bunches)
4 oz. cherry tomatoes
4 scallions, sliced
2 Tbs. lime juice Continue reading

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Watercress

The Greek general Xenophon and the Persian King Xerxes ordered their soldiers to eat it to keep them healthy. Louis IX of France (St. Louis) found it so delightful that he placed it on a coat of arms. During the 14th-century, it had an important place on the menus at the courts of England’s Richard II and France’s Charles VI. And I just picked some up at my local grocery store.

Watercress, or Nasturtium officianale, is a member of the mustard family. It is native to Eurasia—the region of Asia Minor and the Mediterranean, more specifically. Despite the name, it is totally unrelated to the flower known as nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus), which is native to South and Central America and Mexico. (Though unrelated, which even a casual glance confirms, the two do share in common peppery-tasting leaves. It is my guess that the New World native was named nasturtium for the Old World herb that was equally peppery. In fact, nasturtiums, which are also used in salads, were sometimes called Indian cress.) Continue reading

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