This salad is peppery and slightly spicy, with a hint of sweet from the salted honey. The cardamom and pear balance the somewhat bitter watercress perfectly, and the crunch from the walnuts adds a depth of flavor. This salad will complement a hearty holiday main, like prime rib, as equally as it will stand on its own. Add chopped turkey or chicken for a complete stand-alone meal.


  • 2 large bunches watercress, rinsed and dried, ends trimmed
  • 2 cups baby arugula, rinsed and dried
  • 2 pears, cut in half, core removed and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup walnuts with some larger pieces for garnish
  • 1/2 cup Basic Dressing
  • 1 tablespoon salted honey plus 1 teaspoon more
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground or grated cardamom
  • Kosher or flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Trim ends off watercress and remove any larger woody stems. Place the watercress and arugula in a large bowl and fill with cold water and swirl the leaves around. Rinse and gently pat dry with paper towels or a clean dish towel.
  2. Make the Basic Dressing in a jar with a lid. Add the salted honey, shake vigorously to incorporate the honey, and set aside.
  3. Rinse, dry, and cut the pears in half. Remove the cores and thinly slice.
  4. Place the clean, dry greens in a large serving bowl. Place the the pear slices on top of the greens in a circle (optional) and add the walnuts. I like to put the larger pieces of walnut at the base of each pear slice for a pretty presentation.
  5. Sprinkle the cardamom over the salad, concentrating on the pears.
  6. When ready to serve, vigorously shake the dressing again, pour it over the salad, and lightly toss. Season with flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.


It may seem like I get a little fussy with rinsing the watercress but I promise it is worth it. Watercress bruises easily and swirling it in water to rinse it keeps it fresh and vibrant.

If you have left over watercress, consider making the Watercress Buttermilk Cooler.