Apple and watercress Salad

Recipe from Kew on a Plate with Raymond Blanc.

The watercress season spans a large period of the year in the UK, running from April to October. In spring, the young leaves are crisp and tender, while in autumn they have developed a wonderful peppery flavour. For me the spicy autumn watercress is best in this salad, teamed with the first of the autumn apples, but you could also make it in spring, with apples that you have stored over the winter.

Wcressapplsal MAIN IMAGE

Ingredients Required

For the watercress dressing
250g Watercress leaves
30g Flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked
4 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp Hazelnut oil
30g Ice cubes
1 pinch Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the apple purée
2 large Braeburn apples, peeled, cored and cut into small dice
50ml Water
1 dash Lemon juice
1 pinch Caster sugar (optional)
For the watercress salad
1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp Lemon juice
2 tsp Water
2 pinches Sea salt
2 pinches Caster sugar
240g Watercress leaves, large stalks removed
To serve
2 Braeburn apples
50g Hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
1 Shallot, sliced into rings, washed under cold water for 2 minutes

Cooking Method

For the watercress dressing

Blanch the watercress and parsley in boiling water for 30 seconds to remove some of the bitterness, then refresh in iced water. Place in a large colander and squeeze out as much water as possible. Chop then transfer to a blender with the two oils and blend on full speed, until completely smooth. Add the ice cubes and continue to blend to loosen the dressing; the cold from the ice will also ensure that it does not lose its vibrant colour. Taste and correct the seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary. Pass through a fine sieve and reserve in the fridge.

For the apple purée

In a medium saucepan on a medium heat, cook the apples with the water and lemon juice for 10 minutes with a lid on. Purée in a blender, taste and add a pinch of sugar or dash more lemon juice if necessary. Pass through a fine sieve and reserve in the fridge.

For the watercress salad

In a large bowl, mix the oil, lemon juice, water, salt and sugar. Taste and correct the seasoning, then toss with the watercress.

To serve

Spread the apple purée on each serving plate. Core and chop the apples into wedges and scatter pieces around the plates. Place the dressed watercress salad in the centre and drizzle over the watercress dressing. Finish with the chopped nuts and shallot rings.


Kew Book 120THUMB

Recipe from Kew on a Plate with Raymond Blanc, published by Headline Ltd.

Recipe © Raymond Blanc 2015.

Photograph © Jean Cazals 2015.