Watercress and Pickled Beets Salad

If you’re looking for refreshing summer salad that’s rich in flavor and texture, this salad is it! Peppery watercress is paired with sweet home made pickled beets, blistered cherry tomatoes, creamy goat cheese and prosciutto. I make this salad all the time and it has definitely become a summertime staple at my house.

Watercress: Leafy, Peppery Superfood

Watercress is native to Europe and Asia, and people have been consuming this plant since the ancient times for medicinal purposes. This amazing leafy veggie packs a full punch of nutrients like calcium, vitamins A, C, K and B6 and is considered a superfood. Watercress is one of my favorite veggies but compared to other leafy greens like kale, arugula or swiss chard, it’s not as popular at least in the U.S. I don’t think I’ve ever come across watercress on the menu in restaurants and they are also hard to find in grocery stores ( I usually find my supply at my local Asian market). If you are on a hunt for fresh watercress, take a look at B&W Quality Growers; they have a section on their site where you can locate stores that carry their watercress.

People often ask me what watercress taste like, and I tell them they taste similar to arugula; they are peppery and spicy. This is definitely not your ordinary bland salad greens. Watercress stalks are also edible and have great crunchy texture, so don’t cut off the stalks!

Sweet and Tangy Pickled Beets

Another main component of this salad is my homemade pickled beets. I make pickled beets several times a year and have them stocked in my fridge all year long! This can be made ahead of time and contain only 3 ingredients; Beets, Apple Cider Vinegar and fresh sprigs of dill. They are sweet and tangy which taste so refreshing on a hot summer day and will last 1-3 months in the fridge!

Here are some helpful tips:

  • You can use purple or yellow beets but I find yellow beets are sweeter. Also purple beets tend to dye everything around them purple so I prefer to use yellow ones.
  • For apple cider vinegar, I use my favorite; Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar. (See my post about Bragg’s ACV) For bit of sweetness and spice I chose their honey and cayenne version.
  • I used medium sized beets (4) or you can use 4-5 small beets. This will yield enough pickled beets to fill one 32 oz jar plus a 16 oz jar.

Complete Your Summer Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Goat Cheese and Prosciutto

Sweet blistered tomatoes, goat cheese with honey, and Prosciutto are perfect complement to watercress and pickled beets:

  • Blistered Cherry Tomatoes: These tomatoes get sweeter when cooked for few minutes in a skillet! See my other recipe with blistered Tomatoes: Lemon & Parsley Meatballs
  • Crumbled Goat Cheese: One of my favorite cheeses for a salad and I used Trader Joe’s Chevre with Honey. Its creamy with just enough of honey and by itself it taste like light cheesecake!
  • Prosciutto: I prefer using prosciutto made in Italy, they tend to be less salty and more flavorful.

See my other refreshing salad recipes:

Blue Danube China

Today’s featured tableware is my vintage Blue Danube serving platter and salad plates. There is something so pretty about bright blue and white porcelain and I always think it really brings out the colors of your dish. I’m a huge believer and an advocate for choosing a tableware that complements your delicious dishes. You put so much love, care and effort to make them, why not also put that type of care and effort to showcase them?

Watercress and Pickled Beets Salad

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time31 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 32 oz. glass jar, sterilized
  • 16 oz. glass jar, sterilized


Pickled Beets

  • 3-4 yellow beets peeled and sliced in 1/4" thick rounds cut in half
  • 6 cups bragg's apple cider vinegar with honey cayenne
  • 5-6 sprigs fresh dill

For the Salad

  • cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 bunches fresh watercress, thoroughly washed and dried
  • 7-8 slices pickled beets
  • 2-3 oz prociutto
  • 3 oz goat cheese ( I used Trader Joe's goat cheese with honey)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil (to drizzle on top of salad)
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


Pickled Beets

  • Fill medium sized pot with water and bring to a boil. Add sliced beets and boil for 20-25 minutes over medium heat until beets are tender.
  • Once beets are tender, drain the beets and let it cool on a plate.
  • When beets have cooled down, place the beets and fresh dill in the glass jar. Pour apple cider vinegar into the jar and fill the jar to the top.
  • Let the jar cool down completely, then chill in the fridge.

For the Salad

  • Heat small cast iron skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Once the oil starts to sizzle, add cherry tomatoes.
  • Place tomatoes flat in the skillet. Leave tomatoes for 2-3 minutes on each side until tomatoes have some char marks, do not overcook. Turn heat off when both sides of tomatoes are blistered then set it aside.
  • Spread watercress evenly onto a large serving platter and add cherry tomatoes, pickled beets, and prosciutto slices on top of watercress. Sprinkle crumbled goat cheese over the salad.
  • In a ramekin, whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper and drizzle over the salad. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

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