Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Watercress, Daikon and Avocado Salad

It's spring and talk of cleansing is in the air! Plus many of us are fighting off (hopefully the last!) of the colds. This salad is perfect for lightening up, purifying, de-junking and energizing the body. This is one of my favorite salad's from the spring section of Terry Walter's Clean Food cookbook.

The key players:

Watercress: while not an everyday green for most, if you're a fan of the pungent and spicy arugula, make this your next move. Watercress is one of the most nutrient-dense (if you shop at Whole Foods, you might recognize it from the top of their ANDI ("aggregate nutrient density index") score list. It's an effective blood purifier that helps remove toxins from the body, high in vitamin A, chlorophyll and calcium - great cooked or eaten raw.

Daikon radish: maybe you've seen these over-sized white carrot-looking roots in the store and wondered what they were! Daikon is a Japanese radish with a very mild taste that is known for helping the body break down mucus (especially in the lungs) and is excellent for lowering cholesterol. Because of it's large size, I love to use sliced rounds of daikon in place of crackers for snacking!

Terry says: "Watercress and daikon make this salad super cleansing and heart-healthy, and their bitter flavors and crisp textures are balanced perfectly by the smooth richness of avocado and mustard. I like to use the stems and leaves of watercress and remove only the dried stem ends (or the wet root ball if it is hydroponically grown)."

1 large bunch watercress, chopped
1 large daikon, peeled and julienned
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon light miso
1 tablespoon brown rice syrup (I've used maple syrup)
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

In a large bowl, combine watercress, daikon, avocado and pumpkin seeds.

In a dry pan, over medium heat, toast mustard seeds until they start to pop. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

In medium bowl, whisk together remaining dressing ingredients. Stir in mustard seeds, pour over vegetables and fold gently to coat evenly. Serve at room temperature or chilled (if serving chilled, chill vegetables and dressing separately and toss together just before serving).

Serves 4.

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