Buyers ate the bunches from their hands, rather as we would eat an ice cream cone! Watercress is in season from April to September and although it’s usually relegated to a measly garnish on the plate, I look upon it as a delicious and health-giving vegetable in its own right. Sauté cress in butter for 10 minutes, serve as a vegetable. Watercress was so popular in the past that every spring it was sold tied it into bunches in Covent Garden by London street sellers. He prepared a lavish banquet and served watercress after the fourth course, writing on the menu ‘Watercress, served alone to refresh the mouth’. Cress Serving Suggestions Use raw garden cress or watercress to lend a peppery flavor to salads and sandwiches. Do this just before serving. Cress will cook in 4 to 6 minutes wilting down to about an eighth of its volume. My favourite way of enjoying watercress is in a sandwich made with good quality bread generously spread with butter and packed with plenty of crisp, fresh watercress. Select cress with whole, deep green leaves that have a peppery aroma. Cultivated watercress is grown on washed gravel and nourished with pure fresh spring water. Container and Pot Sizes: How Much Soil Do I Need? Drain and press out the remaining liquid. Use cress in stir-fries. Young leaves contain less mustard oil and so have a milder flavour. I’m all for using seasonal British foods. Garden cress and Upland cress are native to Europe where they have grown wild near slow-running waterways since ancient times. Use raw garden cress or watercress to lend a peppery flavor to salads and sandwiches. It also treats vomiting. Wash cress under cool running water, trim away the roots with scissors, pat dry with paper towels, or place in a salad spinner before using. Your email address will not be published. These cresses came into broad cultivation in the nineteenth century. In some cases, cooks use entire immature seedlings for a unique flavor, look, and texture. The Latin genus name for watercress, nasturtium, comes from the root words. Cress has a flavor affinity with buttermilk, cucumber, egg, goat cheese, mushrooms, potatoes, rice, roasted meats, tofu, tomatoes, and yogurt. Blend cress with scallions, yogurt or buttermilk and serve with salmon. Use a mixture of mustard and cress... Cook cress as you would spinach. Cook cress as you would spinach. Drinking boiled water with cress seeds powder helps to treat leprosy patients. Thicken cress soup with potatoes and cream. Shake the pan occasionally to prevent leaves from sticking to the bottom. It’s not a good idea to eat watercress found growing in the wild though, as it’s likely to be polluted and may carry liver fluke. The hot peppery taste comes from the mustard oil in the plant and its strong flavour stimulates the taste buds and digestion. How to Store Harvest, Cure, and Store Winter Squash. The parts that grow above the ground are used to make medicine. Cress contains vitamins A and C and potassium. If you order a large salad plate or potato salad in a German restaurant, very often the salad is garnished with some garden cress sprouts. Typically, it is used in relatively small amounts, because the peppery flavor can get overwhelming. To keep leaves crisp, do not let them soak. Tired leaves can be revived by rinsing in cool water. Magazine subscription – save 44% and get a cookbook of your choice. Sauté cress in butter for 10 minutes, serve as a vegetable. A typical way garden cress is used here in Germany is as topping on mixed salads. Drinking boiled 20 grams of cress seeds improves bowel movement, expels gases and reduces the pain of colic. Cook-wilt cress in a saucepan or a skillet with just the water that clings to the leaves after washing. Use a mixture of mustard and cress seedlings for a “mustard and cress” green salad. Curiously the peppery taste of watercress has a cooling effect, a paradox that was noted by the celebrated 14th century French chef Taillevent, who was also the first person to include it on a menu. I already used some in a batch of egg salad after seeing several recipes for cress and egg salad sandwiches. In Germany watercress is eaten with meats, sausages and smoked fish. Watercress isn't just for salads. I use the hot peppery leaves to add a kick to salads; their pungent flavour also makes flavoursome soups, sauces and flavoured butters and goes particularly well with eggs. Beer 52 exclusive offer: Get a free case of craft beer worth £24. Add a sprinkling of salt and place the pan over low heat. Use cress in stir-fries. I like to serve watercress with sea trout or salmon, where its refreshing flavour is the perfect complement to the rich tasting fish. Drinking boiled cress seeds helps to dissolve phlegm in the chest and lungs and get rid of it. Avoid leaves that are yellowing, slimy, or unpleasant smelling. Carol Wilson celebrates the unique taste of this versatile seasonal vegetable. Cover the pan so that the cress steams in its own liquid. Purée in a food processor or chop it by hand, add 4 to 6 tablespoons of melted butter, 2 tablespoons of heavy cream then blend well. That's something you can easily replicate at home. Some cress may be hydroponically grown and will come to market with their root-balls attached. That’s why the French call their watercress soup potage de santé or ‘healthy soup’. Overview Information Garden cress is a plant. The flavor of cress deteriorates after flowering. In fact watercress is one of the most nutritious vegetables and is a rich source of vitamins and essential minerals. Use cress as spicy greens and garnishes. My favourite way of enjoying watercress is in a sandwich made with good quality bread generously spread with butter and packed with plenty of crisp, fresh watercress. Harvest To Table Privacy Policy. The stems, flowers, and seeds of the plants are also edible, however. Cress will keep in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. Apart from the issue of food miles, eating foods grown on our doorstep is much better for us, as they’re more in tune with nature and are tastier and fresher. Especially in the Old World, cress is a very common inclusion in salads and sandwiches, since the unique and zesty flavor makes a … You can boil cress with other greens like mustards and corn salad. Drain or dry the leaves as much as possible. Stand stems in a container of cold water and cover the tops with a plastic bag. Hippocrates the ‘father of medicine’ opened what was probably the world’s first hospital near to wild watercress growing in a stream, so that he could use the watercress to treat his patients. Serve as a bed for roast beef or roast chicken so that it wilts and absorbs juices. Watercress is native to South America and was brought from Peru to Europe in the late seventeenth century. Cultivated watercress is grown on washed gravel and nourished with pure fresh spring water. Q: My CSA box this week included a large bunch of cress, which I’ve never worked with before. Subscription offer: save 44% and receive a brand-new cookbook. Purée cress to make a chilled soup. Week included a large bunch of cress seeds powder helps to treat leprosy patients the peppery flavor to salads sandwiches! After seeing several recipes for cress and egg salad sandwiches its refreshing flavour is the perfect to. 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