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Watercress Anise Italian Salad

    Posted By: Baron Blackfang
Thursday, 20 April 2006, at 4:08 p.m.

Here's a tasty and not too expensive Italian cold salad that you will find most creative. The blend of colors and flavors includes veggies, a bit of meat, and cheese. The mild licorice taste of the anise contrasts well with the vinaigrette dressing. I prefer a tart vinaigrette so feel free to add more oil if you wish.

I've also included one of my newest veggies, tomatillos (Mexican
gooseberry), which has a tart crunchy taste. Normally you see tomatillos in premium salsas, but I can buy them fresh now at Albertson's and find they are a dandy salad addition.

Watercress Anise Italian Salad

1 package watercress, remove any tough stems and veggie coarsely torn
1 large anise bulb, coarsely shredded
6 large Romaine lettuce leaves, ribs removed and leaves coarsely torn
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
4 large tomatillos, thinly sliced
1 package cherry or grape tomatoes
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
4 red radishes, thinly sliced
1/4 pound proscuitto ham, sliced into 1/4-inch shreds
1/4 pound parmesan cheese, slivered

Vinaigrette Dressing

4 tbs. red balsamic vinegar
4 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs. clover honey (any mild honey will do)
1 tbs. whole-grain mustard
2 cloves garlic, mashed
2 tsp. dried Italian herbal seasoning
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper


In a large salad bowl, combine all vegetables except the tomatoes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until well chilled. Place salad plates into the freezer (keeps salad colder while eating). I find that placing the salad in the freezer for 30 minutes maximum speeds up the process. In a 1 quart bowl, combine all of the dressing ingredients except the oil. Whisk to combine. Then, drizzle in the oil while whisking to form an emulsion. Chill until needed. When salad is chilled, add the tomatoes and dressing. Toss gently until well blended. Serves 4.

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