Watercress Lentil and Haloumi Salad

Have you ever eaten watercress?

Watercress growing in our back yard

I love it

It tastes a bit similar to rocket – slightly peppery – and it is a fabulous addition to salads such as this one…

Watercress is incredibly nutritious:

Watercress is rich in antioxidants that protect skin against ageing, eyes from macular degeneration and your whole body from cancer. In fact, watercress contains the compound pheny-lethyl-isothiocyanate (PEITC), which promotes the excretion of cancer causing substances and may particularly protect against lung and bowel cancer.

Watercress belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables along with broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, bok choy and rocket, well-known for their nutrient density and anti-cancer properties. They also help the detoxification ability of the liver – in particular, watercress enhances phase two liver detoxification pathways.

In fact, watercress is reported to be even more nutrient dense than (the currently very popular) kale!

This gorgeous and quick to make salad comes from my veggie-licious cookbook, which I am so proud to say is getting rave reviews – YAY!

click here to grab your copy 🙂


I hope you give watercress a go and try this salad

However if you can’t find watercress, rocket, or a mixture of baby spinach leaves and rocket make a great substitute


Watercress Lentil and Haloumi Salad
Prep time
10 mins

Cook time
5 mins

Total time
15 mins


Author: Caroline Trickey from Healthy Home Cafe
Serves: 4

  • 2 red capsicums, roasted (you can use roasted red peppers, available in jars at delis and supermarkets)
  • 4–6 cups or approx 100 grams watercress sprigs, washed well and dried
  • ⅓ cup fresh mint leaves
  • 100 grams haloumi
  • 400 tin brown lentils, drained
  • Dressing
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • pepper, to taste

  1. Cut the roasted capsicum flesh longways into 3 mm lengths.
  2. Remove any thick stalks from the watercress and wash along with the mint leaves. Use a salad spinner to dry, then set aside.
  3. Slice haloumi and set aside.
  4. To make the dressing, place oil, lemon juice, garlic and pepper in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well to combine. Note: As the haloumi is salty you should not need to add any salt.
  5. Just before serving, place a frypan over medium heat. When hot, add the haloumi and cook for 2–3 minutes each side until browned.
  6. Combine capsicum, lentils, watercress and mint in a serving bowl and pour the dressing over the top. Toss together and arrange on a serving platter.
  7. Top with haloumi and serve.
  9. • Replace haloumi with buffalo mozzarella (no cooking needed)
  10. • For a vegan option, replace cheese with a vegan cheese or walnuts
  11. • Cook your own lentils. I like to use the French green (also called Puy) lentils. You will need ½ cup and they take approx 20 mins to cook!


This salad was inspired by a visit to Almond Bar in Darlinghurst

I'm a dietitian, food lover and passionate cook With the back-ground of running a successful cafe and catering business for more than 12 years in Melbourne, I then completed my dietetic studies and have been working in private practice for more than 10 years. I now also run cooking classes from my home in Sydney My blog is full of delicious, gourmet-style, interesting, healthy meals and more. I want to inspire people to cook more and show them how healthy food can be incredibly delicious and how you can use food as medicine

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