WATERCRESS AND BEET SALAD WITH ALMONDS – This salad bounces around the palate like spring sun bounces off the water. It is bright and vivid in both color and flavor. If you can’t find fresh, green almonds use whole, skinned almonds. And if you're lucky enough to live in France and be in a rush, you can buy your beets already cooked!
– medium sized beet or 2 small beets, balsamic vinegar, Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, extra-virgin olive oil (80ml), shallots (sliced paper-thin), watercress sprigs, Generous ½ fresh (green almonds, or raw (untoasted) almonds that have been lightly toasted and coarsely chopped, 110g), If using raw, green almonds, crack the outer shell, and peel off the inner golden skin to reveal the tender young almond. Reserve.; Bring 3 cups water to a boil in the bottom half of a steamer. Add the beets and steam until they are tender through, 30 to 40 minutes. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel them, and cut them into small dice. Reserve.; In a large bowl whisk together the vinegar with salt and pepper to taste, until the salt dissolves. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until the mixture is emulsified. Stir in the shallots and season to taste.; Place 2 tablespoons of the dressing in a small bowl. Add the diced beet and toss, so all the pieces are thoroughly coated with dressing. Reserve.; Add the watercress to the remaining dressing in the large bowl, toss gently but thoroughly so the watercress leaves are coated with the dressing, then add the almonds. Toss again, and divide among six plates, making sure the almonds are arranged so that they can be seen. Sprinkle equal amounts of the beets atop the salad and serve immediately.; – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]
In the 14th century, a pound of nutmeg was purportedly worth three sheep and a cow; in the 17th century, the little, fragrant nut was valued higher than gold.