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Kardamon (Watercress) and Rocket Salad

I am going to keep this post short. I just broke my promise to myself not to post more than two posts a week as I was planning to post one for another friend’s event by the end of this week but I still have time for that one. However, on a visit to my friends’ sites earlier, I visited Laurie, of Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska and who is one of the first friends I made when I began blogging. Laurie is the host of this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, created by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchenand if you have not yet visited Laurie’s blog, you still have time to submit your recipe and “taste” her delicious Mediterranean dishes.

Yesterday I had some business to attend to in another municipality of Athens and in the street I had to go, there was a Farmers’ Market going on. When I had finished, I could not resist buying a few things such as strawberries and rocket.  When I paid for the rocket I noticed that he was selling fresh kardamon (watercress)  Nasturtium officinale. That intrigued me as I had never seen fresh kardamon before and asked the man how this could be eaten. He told me that I could do it just the same way you I eat rocket. I paid for it and when I was about to leave he added “You give some of this to your husband to eat and you will not regret it. Better than Viagra”. I assured him that my husband did not need it and I could see some people giggling with the joke and left”.

When I returned home, it was quite late and I had to grill Some Greek biftekia (burgers) I had prepared before leaving in the morning and I wanted to make some salad. I made a quick google search for “cardamom and rocket” but I could not find anything with fresh cardamom. I checked what else I had at home. I had spring onions, parsley, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and lettuce. I decided to use the cherry tomatoes and the spring onions. I washed all the vegetables and let them dry. When I prepared the salad and added the vinaigrette I tasted it to see what it was like. If you think that rocket has a peppery and tart taste then cardamom has an even more peppery, tart and bitter taste and imagine both greens together.

I looked for something sweet to add but the only thing I found in my closet was a packet with four leftover dried figs and some walnuts. I added them to the salad and although the cherry tomatoes and the figs balanced the taste, it still needed something more.  I remembered seeing strawberries in other salads so I added a few strawberries in my plate and that gave the perfect balance. I think it was exactly what it needed.Although I heard a few jokes from my daughter, like “salad and dessert together” my son and husband tried it and they loved it. (Now don’t ask me about the after effects).

Rocket and Watercress Salad

Serves 4.


  • 2 cups of rocket
  • 2 cups of fresh watercress
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 4 strawberries
  • 3 – 4 dried figs, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons walnuts, crushed
  • salt and cracked black pepper to taste

For dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey


Wash and drain all the vegetables.Cut spring onions, rocket, watercress, cherry tomatoes and strawberries.Cut figs and crush walnuts to small pieces.

In a container with lid add oil, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar and honey and shake well.Add dressing to salad, salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly and serve.

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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22 Responses

  1. Peter G

    Only the Greeks! LOL at the market man. Salad sounds amazing Ivy. I’m curious when you say “fresh” cardamom do you mean that it came in the little “pods”/shells? I love peppery flavours and rocket is perfect for this.

  2. Laurie Constantino

    This is a fascinating recipe Ivy. I’ve never seen or heard of eating fresh cardamom, so it was also very educational. I’m so glad you decided to blog about it – and it is a PERFECT entry for Weekend Herb Blogging. Thanks!

  3. Ivy

    Panagioti, I put a new picture on the post. It’s the plant and I guess that where those little flowers are when the plant grows the seeds of this flower become the cardamom pods. (If someone knows more please enlighten us).

  4. Ivy

    Thank you Laurie, what I forgot to mention in the post is that we have a verb derived from this plant “cardamono” which means we become invigorated, gain strength etc., so this means that it is full of vitamins and whatever other qualities it might have to give you stamina.

  5. Kalyn

    Very interesting salad ingredient. I’ve never seen cardamom greens before, only the spice.

  6. Bellini Valli

    I wonder if anyone grows cardamon here? I suppose that once the farmers market gets into full swing I will start to see something interesting…I HOPE:D I have also come to understand that rocket here is arugula, so I will start there sis with my interpretation of your delicious “dessert” salad:D

  7. Ivy

    Thank you Kalyn, so it seems that apart from me a lot of people do not know fresh cardamom.

  8. Ivy

    Hey sis, I know that it is called aragula but I prefer to call it rocket because it sounds more to the Greek word which is “ROCKA”.

  9. Swati: Sugarcraft India

    I have never seen green cardamoms beore but the way you have described the salad and the flavours its very very appetising… a whole lot of goodies!!!

  10. Ivy

    Actually I was hoping that my blogger friends from India would be more familiar with this plant and give us more information, as I was under the impression that Cardamom is an Indian spice.

  11. Swati: Sugarcraft India

    Oh yes, you are right there Ivy, it is grown in the southern parts of India where I have not been able to visit yet..and thus even I use the dried cardamoms for cooking and especially in desserts and tea where it leaves nice sweet fragrance.. So was excited to see its usage in salads ..

  12. Ivy

    Although I have some cardamom pods I do not know how to use it.

  13. Lisa

    Now this is one inspired salad. I don’t think I have ever seen fresh cardamom greens before. If I ever do, I now know what to do with them.

  14. Rosie

    Hi Ivy, this is an interesting dish I have never heard of eating fresh cardamom gosh do I live and learn all the time.

    Rosie x

  15. Ivy

    Hi Lisa I am sure you will like it.

  16. Cakelaw

    Beautiful salad Ivy – I think tht the figs and walnuts in the dressing make it.

  17. Mike of Mike's Table

    That’s really interesting–I’ve only worked with cardamom pods, never the greens. Sounds like it must have been a great salad!

  18. Ivy

    Rosie, you are right we never stop learning. I had never heard of it either.

    Cakelaw, at least the figs did. The walnuts were nice and crunchy but this salad definitely needed something sweet.

    Mike, I am only now starting to know cardamon pods and the aroma is just fantastic.

  19. Núria

    What a delicious salad! I would go for the contrast with the strawberries too!

    Also didn’t know about fresh cardamom (I just discovered the seeds)Never seen it over here.

    Je, je, Spanish farm sellers would say this kind of things too!!!

  20. Fearless Kitchen

    Huh – I’ve never even seen fresh cardamom. It looks like a great salad. If I ever see fresh cardamom I’ll know what to do with it!

  21. Ivy

    Hi Fearless kitchen. Nice to see you over here. It seems that nobody knows about this green, including myself as it was the first time I ever saw it.

  22. Kevin

    Hi can anyone tell me where I can get some cardoman leaves in cyprus as I am intrested in putting this salad on my menu, thanks.