|Watercress salad with chayote, grapefruit and vanilla|
The original recipe is for a more composed salad where there is a fairly equal ratio of watercress to chayote to grapefruit. I wanted to beef up the greens so made this more of a watercress salad with chayote and grapefruit. I also tweaked the dressing a bit and added a little lemon juice and honey to round out the flavors. Taste your dressing before adding honey - if your grapefruit is pretty sweet, you may not want to add more sweetness. I just felt like mine needed more, and also the lemon juice adds a little more brightness that maybe the grapefruit reduction loses after cooking.
Adapted from The New Brooklyn Cookbook and Palo Santo restaurant
- 1 bunch watercress, stems trimmed, larger stems removed, rinsed and spun dry
- 2 grapefruit, 1 juiced and 1 cut into segments (squeeze whatever juice you can from the remains into the saucepan)
- 1 chayote, halved, seed removed, and very thinly sliced (a mandoline works great) - if it's a little older and the skin isn't nice and smooth, go ahead and peel it
- 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
- 1/4 extra virgin olive oil
- 1-1/2 Tbsp. fresh squeeze lemon juice,
- 1 tsp. honey, more to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
In a small saucepan over medium low to low heat, heat the grapefruit juice and the vanilla bean until it has reduced a bit, stirring regularly - I let it go for about 30 minutes. You can go longer if you prefer. Discard the vanilla bean and pour it into a small bowl and whisk in the olive oil, lemon juice and honey, and a little salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your own tastes.
Add the watercress, chayote slices and grapefruit in a large salad bowl, and add a little bit of the dressing and very gently toss. Taste and add more dressing as needed. You'll have more dressing than you need so you can reserve it for another day.