Ivy’s early spring salad

Birds are nesting. Tree frogs have been peeping and croaking and chorusing for a month. Violets and buttercups are blooming. The afternoons are almost balmy. It isn’t gingerbread season anymore. It is, however, time for greens.

This morning I bought a bunch of watercress from the farmers’ market, thinking of radish and watercress sandwiches. At lunchtime I offered some watercress to Ivy, who is six and is gaga about greens, and her eyes got wide.

“Can I have some more watercress?”

“How about you have some with lunch,” I said.

“Can I have it in a salad?”

“Sure. What do you want on it? A little olive oil?”

“Okay. And could I have some radishes in it too? Because I like radishes.”

So I tore up some watercress, sliced some radishes thin, sprinkled it with salt and drizzled it with olive oil. It was pretty enough that I had to take a picture, and then it was tasty enough that I had to make myself one. Ivy said I could blog it if I gave her credit, so I have.

radish and watercress salad

“This is so good.”

There’s no recipe — just use fresh spring radishes and really good olive oil, and only a drizzle. Watercress, despite, its peppery flavor, is easily overwhelmed. We discussed whether it needed any acid and agreed that while you might try a few drops of lemon juice, we didn’t recommend it, and that any sort of vinegar would utterly ruin it. It’s spring, and new life is bursting out all over, but it’s early spring, as Ivy pointed out in naming the salad, and that new life is still pretty delicate. Give it a light touch and and enjoy it as it comes.

2 thoughts on “Ivy’s early spring salad”

  1. Excellent idea for a salad, and I like how some of the radish is cut so as to be translucent. Our farmers’ market isn’t open yet, but we’ll have to fetch some radishes and watercress when it is.

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