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Watercress & Sugar Snap Salad with Warm Sesame-Shallot Vinaigrette

  • 25 m
  • 25 m
EatingWell Test Kitchen
“In this Asian-inspired salad, the peppery flavor of watercress is paired with another emblematic spring vegetable—sugar snap peas. Tossed with a warm dressing made with caramelized onions, rice vinegar and toasted sesame oil, this salad is the perfect antidote to the chill of early spring. For the best-tasting watercress, look for supple, thin stems (not woody stalks) with small, heart-shaped, dark green leaves that have no yellow blemishes.”


    • 8 ounces fresh sugar snap peas, trimmed (about 2 cups; see Tip)
    • 2 large bunches watercress, woody stems trimmed (4 ounces or 4 loosely packed cups)
    • 2 tablespoons peanut oil, or canola oil
    • 4 large shallots, thinly sliced into rings
    • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ½ cup crumbled hard, aged goat cheese , or Asiago cheese


  • 1 Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add peas and cook until bright green, 30 seconds. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water until cool. Transfer to a large bowl, add watercress and toss to combine.
  • 2 Heat peanut (or canola) oil in a medium nonstick skillet over low heat; add shallots and cook very slowly, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Stir in vinegar, sesame oil and salt; cook until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Pour the warm dressing over the peas and watercress; toss well. Top with cheese and serve.
  • Tip: To remove the stem and strings at the same time from sugar snap peas, hold the stem between your thumb and index finger, snap and pull down.
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