Gabriel Carr, Guest Writer
Love handles, a bulging belly and other downsides of eating in SNU’s cafeteria every day of the week. It is apparent that many students become a little chubbier within a few months of starting their first semester. However, this is certainly not a predestined occurrence. In fact, there are usually some healthier cuisine options available that students pass over for the predominant fried entree. This is a crying shame because, often times, these healthier choices are tastier than they appear. A remarkable example of one of these choices is the Southwest Watercress Salad.
When I first glanced at the salad, I did not exactly comprehend what I was looking at. There was some moist, leafy grass stuff, that kind of looked like a wad of clovers, topped with a handful of wet corn, a few, soggy avocado wedges and some dark, sweet onion slices. It looked like a plate full of sweaty turtle food. Needless to say, I would not blame someone for electing to eat the corn dog option based solely on the appearance of this salad. In spite of my trepidation when taking my first bite, I can honestly say that I enjoyed this dish.
The pungency and texture of all the ingredients complimented the overall flavor of the salad. As is the case with many entrées, the title of this salad contains the name of the primary ingredient. That clover stuff is the watercress in which the title refers. This was amusing to me because I learned of a new, tasty leafy-green. For examples sake, I will compare the flavor of the watercress to that of raw spinach. The plant, when consumed alone, shares that acidic bite. Being an aquatic herb, it is best consumed when wet. This addition thoroughly justifies a squishy salad experience.
Though, the liquid upon the salad is not mere water. No, it is a fine vinaigrette composed of rice vinegar, soy sauce and vegetable oil. These saucy ingredients combined for an oriental zing within the context of other counterparts. Also, because it is a water herb, the watercress has evolved to stand strong while being submerged in whatever fluid the Good Lord wills upon it. In my serving, the watercress held firm against an utter, tangy drenching. I appreciated this collaboration due to my abhorrence of mush.
To address this salad’s sidekicks, I can account for their excellent contributions. The avocado slices, already being squishy substances, fit right in to this sodden collection. I can say the same about their taste. Their uniquely plain, yet satiating, taste truly venerated their more audacious partners. The onion was sweet but in a more supportive sense. It wore the vinaigrette like a glove and spoke out, just enough to be noticed, in every crunchy bite. The corn acted as corner to lean on. If you throw corn in any “salady” food, it seems to instantly become southwestern. In this salad, the corn was sort of a thoughtful aside to liven up the aesthetic appeal.
However, as far as texture is concerned, it is the firmest ingredient in the mix. I did appreciate this addition whenever my chompers chewed up all the other ingredients, and I had to put a little more effort in posturing the corn before swallowing. This aspect served a lingering appeal. The ingredients to this salad were genuinely considered, and, because of this care, they all polymerize into a sensational final product.
Why not salad? I could go on and on about the health benefits of choosing this option, but I want, instead, to appeal to the dégustateur, the taster, in everyone. As my review of this dish points out, salad can be delicious. This salad in particular only consists of 110 calories a serving. This means one can afford to eat more food, taste more food without gaining weight. Is this not what everyone who likes to eat truly desires? On that thought, I believe it is possible to eat good, Sodexo prepared treats every day, without gaining the pounds to prove it.