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Marinated Tomato, Cucumber, and Watercress Salad with Candied Walnuts

Watercress has a peppery, mustardy flavor which makes it an excellent addition to salads. Marinating the vegetables in advance makes this salad easy to assemble at the last moment.

This recipe is from Vegetarian Cooking at Home with The Culinary Institute of America.

Marinated Tomato, Cucumber, and Watercress Salad with Candied Walnuts

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 1 1/2 cups seeded and diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 medium seedless cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium red onion, minced
  • Champagne Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted walnuts
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • 1/3 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese

Champagne Vinaigrette

Makes 1 1/2 cups

  • 1/2 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes, parsley, cucumber, and onion with ½ cup of the vinaigrette to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and marinate, refrigerated, for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper or a silicone baking mat. In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar, cayenne, and a pinch of salt to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook until the mixture is thick and amber-colored and registers about 235°F on a candy thermometer. Add the nuts and quickly toss to coat. Immediately pour the nut mixture onto the baking sheet. Use 2 forks to separate the walnuts slightly. Let cool to room temperature.
  3. When you are ready to serve, place the watercress in a large salad bowl. Add the marinated tomato and cucumber, nuts, and goat cheese and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Champagne Vinaigrette

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk all ingredients together to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

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