Day 276: Watercress, Clementine & Blue Cheese Salad ♥

Watercress, Clementine & Blue Cheese Salad, another healthy, seasonal salad ♥
Winter salads are so wonderful! This salad is a simple combination of watercress (or arugula or another salad green) with tangerine and blue cheese crumbles, way more than a sum of its parts. The dressing has citrus flavor too, boosted by a spoonful of orange juice concentrate, one of my favorite ingredients. Seasonal. Easy Weeknight Supper. Low Carb. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly & Freestyle Friendly. Vegetarian. Naturally Gluten Free.

This salad is so simple and sooo good. Call it "my favorite new salad".

It had me dreaming! It had me planning a 6am grocery run! Better yet: I just talked to the produce manager by phone. The beautiful bags of watercress he found in the back for me yesterday for $2 a bag are expired now so he's going give me whatever I want for a buck! We'll be wallowing in watercress for a few days! Any ideas? What would you do? And can I preserve it somehow?

The magic is in the combination of the peppery watercress with the tang of tangerine (spiked up with orange in the bare amount of dressing) with the stinky sour of the blue cheese. Heaven on a plate.

Portion size is interesting here. Eight ounces of watercress and a single tangerine and a single tablespoon of blue cheese would generously serve four. But for a dinner party, or some special meal, this is so flavorful that truly, it'd serve eight. At the same time, it absolutely qualifies as something so good one could "easily make a meal out of it".


Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 10 minutes
Serves 4 or 8 (or 1?)

1/2 tablespoon good olive oil
1/2 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate
1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar

8 ounces fresh watercress
2 green onions, chopped
1 tangerine, sections cut in thirds
1 tablespoon blue cheese crumbles

DRESSING Whisk together the dressing ingredients.

SALAD Toss the watercress and green onions with the dressing. Sprinkle tangerine pieces and blue cheese on top. Serve and enjoy!!

MAKE-AHEAD Prep the dressing ahead of time. Wash, dry and chill the watercress ahead of time; chop the green onion and cut up the tangerine pieces. Break up the blue cheese into crumbles. Have everything all ready to go but don't toss the salad until just before serving. This prevents the greens from getting soggy; keeps the greens and tangerines from getting "too oniony"; keeps the blue cheese separate and distinct.

VARIATIONS No watercress? No problem at all, just substitute another salad green. I especially like arugula because like arugula, it has a peppery bite. But any nice lettuce will work, really.

Frozen orange juice concentrate is one of my favorite "secret ingredients". I use it to bump up orange flavor without adding liquid. After all, the orange is concentrated, right? I buy a small can, transfer it to a small glass container, then keep it in the freezer to dole out a tablespoon or two at a time. It keeps a long while!
I know, I know. Just a single tablespoon of blue cheese crumbles? Use good blue cheese and I promise, it's just enough.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Thanks for posting this recipe so quickly, Alanna. I will get myself straight to the market to buy some watercress and clementines. Can't wait to try it!!

  2. Sounds really wonderful. When I was a kid we used to pick watercress wild by the side of the ditches in northern Utah. Now that area is so developed I doubt you could find it any more. I could tell I was going to be a foodie when I loved it and the rest of my sibs could not stand it.

  3. What a yummy looking salad Alanna! Love the colors and how it's arranged on the brown plate. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Thanks for all the compliments, all -- this is truly a wonderful salad, I've now had it four times (that's one of the things that happens when you buy 6 pounds of watercress for $1, the other is that you do endless posts on watercress ...) and haven't yet gotten the least bit tired of the bright flavor. Hmm. Must be time for lunch!

  5. Thanx for the watercress idea!!! I have a similar favorite salad in which I use romaine and a mixture of other lettuces, canned mandarin oranges, blue cheese and walnuts! Can't wait to try it your recipe! I think I'll throw some walnuts on it; I love the crunch!

  6. Hey Alanna-

    I notice you live (or did in '06) in the STL area- where did you buy watercress? I have this and another recipe to try that calls for it. :D


  7. Hi Jen ~ I keep an eye out for watercress but don't have a 'regular' place. Schnucks often has it in a hydroponic form (that's what I was using for this salad, it wasn't selling so they sold me a whole case for a couple of dollars) but I've seen the 'wild' version (not wild, I'm sure, but in a tight bunch) at Whole Foods, maybe Dierbergs too.

    My 'sense' is that it's a winter-y green, hitting STL when it's very early spring in California. I harvested some in the wild here in April or so.

  8. What could you substitute for the watercress? We don't see it in the stores in West Tennessee.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna