Watercress, Avocado, and Grapefruit Salad

Makes 4 servings

This artistic salad is designed to be served as a side salad. Add more watercress if you want to serve it as a main dish. The dressing for this elegant salad uses mirin, a Japanese rice wine that is subtle, delicious, and clean on the palate. The grapefruit juice for the dressing can be squeezed from the remaining pulp after the segments are removed from the fruit.


16 stems watercress greens (1/2 bunch)
2 ripe avocados
1 to 2 large grapefruits
1 teaspoon (5 mL) toasted sesame seeds

2 tablespoons (30 mL) grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons (30 mL) mirin
2 teaspoons (10 mL) rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) tamari or soy sauce
To prepare the salad, wash the watercress and spin or pat dry. Arrange 4 stems each on the top third of four plates. Set aside. Cut avocados in half lengthwise and remove pits. Insert the edge of a soup spoon between the avocado pulp and the skin. Carefully scoop out the pulp in one piece and put it on a cutting board. Make thin strips lengthwise, starting 1/2-inch (1 cm) down from the narrow end of the avocado through to the bottom. With light pressure from your hand and at a 45-degree angle, push avocado so that it fans out. Arrange half of each avocado fan on each bed of watercress so that the fanned area is near the bottom of the plate.

Put the grapefruit on a cutting board. Slice off the top and bottom of the grapefruit. Using a sharp knife, cut away the skin and the white part of the peel. Cut along both sides of each segment toward the centre to loosen and remove all of the segments. Reserve the pulp for its juice. Garnish each plate with 4 grapefruit segments to form two Xs, one on either side of the avocado.

To prepare the dressing, squeeze into a small bowl the juice from the reserved pulp of the grapefruit after the segments are removed. Add the mirin, vinegar, and tamari and stir to combine. Spoon about 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of dressing over each individual salad. Sprinkle each salad with a pinch of sesame seeds.

Per serving: calories: 216, protein: 3 g, fat: 16 g, carbohydrate: 16 g (2 g from sugar), dietary fibre: 6 g, calcium: 39 mg, iron: 1 mg, magnesium: 49 mg, phosphorus: 59 mg, potassium: 729 mg, sodium: 48 mg, zinc: 1 mg, thiamin: 0.2 mg, riboflavin: 0.2 mg, niacin: 3 mg, vitamin B 6: 0.3 mg, folate: 71 mcg, pantothenic acid: 1 mg, vitamin B 12: 0 mcg, vitamin A: 1164 mcg, vitamin C: 34 mg, vitamin E: 2 mg, omega-6 fatty acids: 2 g, omega-3 fatty acids: 0.1 g

Percentage of calories from protein 5%, fat 63%, carbohydrate 28%, alcohol 4%