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Watercress, Pistachio & Beet Salad

  • 30 m
  • 40 m
EatingWell Test Kitchen
“Sweet, quick-pickled beets, peppery watercress and the delicate licorice flavor of crunchy fennel make a healthy salad that artfully balances flavor, texture and color. ”


    • 1 pound medium beets, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch rounds
    • 4 tablespoons champagne vinegar or white-wine vinegar, divided
    • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup plus 2 teaspoons, divided
    • Pinch of salt plus ¼ teaspoon, divided
    • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
    • 10 cups watercress, trimmed
    • 1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed, cored and thinly sliced; fronds reserved
    • ¼ cup coarsely chopped salted pistachios
    • ¼ cup crumbled feta or goat cheese


  • 1 Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Add beets, cover and cook until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Combine 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon syrup and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Stir in the beets. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes and up to 2 days.
  • 2 To serve, whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, 2 teaspoons syrup, ¼ teaspoon salt, oil and pepper in a large bowl. Add watercress and sliced fennel; toss to coat. Arrange the beets around the edge of a platter and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the pickling liquid. Mound the salad in the center. Top with pistachios and cheese. Garnish with chopped fennel fronds, if desired.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare beets (Step 1); cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
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