Watercress has a unique spicy flavor that can bring a fresh and zesty touch to any dish. Though it may look dainty and delicate, the leafy green is great to try in salads, soups, and sandwiches. Watercress is available year-round, but it peaks from April through June. This dark, leafy green has thick stems and a peppery taste that can be mellowed when cooked. When shopping for a fresh salad, like this recipe, look for healthy, green leaves and smell for a fresh, spicy scent. In this salad, a simple vinaigrette with Dijon mustard for tanginess and coriander seeds for flavor results in a light salad that's great to accompany any dinner. Coriander seeds have a warmer, spicier flavor (especially when toasted and crushed in this recipe). Along with the watercress, frisee mixes up the salad base. One reason why including frisee in any salad is a good idea is because its bitter flavor adds just the right balance and accent to the flavors in the dressing. Pair this salad with grilled chicken or steak and some roasted vegetables for a hearty meal—or serve it alongside an easy sheet pan supper (our favorite weeknight trick!). If you're in charge of bringing the salad to a family dinner or fun cookout, go ahead and make this for a quick fix that will be a subtle crowd-pleaser every time. Quick tip: seasoning a salad well with salt and pepper is not something to skip! They are the perfect finishing touch.

By Larry McGuire, McGuire Moorman Hospitality


Credit: Stephen Karlisch

Recipe Summary test

Serves 8


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, sugar, Dijon mustard, and coriander seeds in a bowl. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Mix the watercress, frisee, red onion, and parsley leaves in a salad bowl. Add the dressing, toss to coat, and season the salad with salt and pepper to taste.