15 Feb2013


I was at S&R yesterday and ran into Chef Ian Padilla of La Girolle, who had a bag of young watercress in his shopping cart. The watercress is from Basic Necessity, one of the first few commercial growers or consolidators of greens in Tagaytay (actually Silang, Cavite). Mrs. MM and I used to drop by Basic Necessity’s main warehouse at Km. 49 of the Silang highway over a decade ago, before they became such a major supplier of greens. At any rate, I also decided to pick up some young watercress and use it in a salad with some red and yellow watermelon and a bit of feta cheese. It isn’t an original idea, as I have seen it featured before, but I just googled it and didn’t realize how many recipes there are for it on the net! I just threw this salad together and it was really easy, somewhat unusual, and totally delicious. A perfect dish for the lenten/summer period as well…


Wash your young watercress greens, which are tasty and slightly peppery. Slice up some watermelon, discarding most visible seeds, and lay them on top of the watercress. I just purchased already sliced watermelon pieces at S&R, because there were just two of us at home, and didn’t need a large salad. Then I added some feta cheese marinated in olive oil with olives and drizzled a mustard vinaigrette on top. Season with salt and pepper and that’s it! The saltiness of the cheese with the sweetness of the melon and peppery flavor of the greens was a real surprise. Bright, light and healthy.

P.S. I have been crazed lately, and have had barely enough time to sit down and collect my thoughts. So we have been eating more “express type” meals… things that I cobble together from store-bought items. But with salads like this, you can see that quick and easy doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Oh, and in case you are wondering what else to use your watercress with, it pairs SUPERBLY with these sauteed chicken livers.



  1. louinsanfran says:

    i think i might try some quesong puti with all these salads you have featured. these salads are great for days of abstinence.

    Feb 15, 2013 | 5:38 am


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  3. PITS, MANILA says:

    loving the way this looks … anticipating the recipe for chicken liver …

    Feb 15, 2013 | 7:06 am

  4. Marketman says:

    PITS, the recipe for chicken livers is in the link above in the main post.

    Feb 15, 2013 | 7:09 am

  5. Betchay says:

    Another fresh, simple and festive-looking dish from MM!great for the coming summer heat!

    Feb 15, 2013 | 7:34 am

  6. cherryoyvr says:

    Your salad reminds me of spring =). Can’t wait.

    Noticed your poll on Philippine reefs. I didn’t know about the Tubbataha Reefs until we visited the California Academy of Science in SFO last year. The underwater displays of this reef found in the Steinhart Aquarium are simply breathtaking. http://www.calacademy.org/academy/exhibits/aquarium/. What a beautiful natural park too – thanks to UNESCO! http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/653. Something to put on the wishlist on the next visit to the Philippines. Mabuhay!

    Feb 15, 2013 | 8:38 am

  7. Khew says:

    If you’re making salads with watermelon again, see if you can obtain the smaller oval, dark green ones. We call them “black beauty” here. Their advantage is firmer flesh. Perfect for grilling too – an added taste dimension and pairs well with a concentrated balsamic vinegar.

    Feb 15, 2013 | 12:56 pm

  8. karen says:

    Isn’t that Pineapple in there too, or is it Apples???

    Feb 16, 2013 | 7:54 am

  9. Marketman says:

    karen, it’s yellow watermelon, I mention it in the write up above…

    Feb 16, 2013 | 9:03 am

  10. linda says:

    MM, this is off topic…..your fresh mustard green with bagoong and calamansi is a favourite salad in our household now and since I shared this with a lot of my friends it has become their favourite,too. Thank you!

    Feb 18, 2013 | 7:29 am

  11. linda says:

    Now that it’s summer here Downunder and it’s the height of stone fruits season I always include my favourite ,gorgeous white peaches in my salad either fresh or bbq’d…..delightful!

    Feb 18, 2013 | 7:40 am

  12. Marketman says:

    linda, I LOVE peaches in salads. So light, sweet and refreshing! As for the mustasa salad, it’s GOOD right? Has all the BRACING flavors of bitter, sour, salty that goes so well with fried and grilled meats and seafood.

    Feb 18, 2013 | 7:58 am

  13. DhayL says:

    Hhhmmm sounds refreshing and very easy to prep! I’ve seen packages of cubed feta and olives in oil being sold in the store so this should be easy to make, and good idea too buy the pre-packed watermelon too! I love watercress, I find myself using watercress whenever I make pork ribs sinigang nowadays! :) Sometimes, nakakasawa na yung
    usual vegies on my sinigang, so I’ve tried spinach too, but watercress and labanos are what i’ve been using lately! Hope I don’t offend anybody reading this if I don’t make it the traditional way! :)

    Feb 21, 2013 | 2:02 am


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