Watercress and Baby Arugula with Chicken, Goat Cheese and Pecans Recipe

This tasty salad combines antioxidant-rich watercress, protein-packed chicken and pecans and K2-rich goat cheese for a delectable and healthy meal.  It can easily be prepared the night before as a convenient lunch for work or school.


  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cooked rotisserie chicken, warm or at room temperature
  • 9 cups loosely packed watercress, cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces
  • 6 cups fresh baby arugula
  • 3 cups torn fresh dandelion greens
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced lengthwise into very thin strips
  • 1 cup brined olives, such as nicoise or kalamata
  • 1/3 cup brined capers, drained
  • 8 ounces fresh goat cheese (may substitute feta cheese)


  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • In a small bowl, combine the pecans with the 2 tablespoons olive oil and a good pinch of salt. Spread the pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast for 10 to 14 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool slightly.
  • While the nuts are cooling, prepare the dressing: Pour the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil into a medium bowl. Whisk in the sherry vinegar, then the mustard. Whisk in the thyme, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of pepper. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as desired.
  • Remove the legs and breasts from the chicken. Remove the skin, and chop the meat into coarse cubes. Set aside.
  • Combine the watercress, arugula, and dandelion greens in a large bowl. Toss in the red onion, olives, and capers, and then dress with 1/2 cup of dressing. Toss the salad, adding more dressing as desired. Toss in the cubed chicken.
  • Divide the salad among 8 plates. Crumble the goat cheese in large chunks over the salads, and then sprinkle with the pecans. Serve immediately.



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