Select cress with whole, deep green leaves that have a peppery aroma. It also treats vomiting. Add a sprinkling of salt and place the pan over low heat. Typically, it is used in relatively small amounts, because the peppery flavor can get overwhelming. 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. Overview Information Garden cress is a plant. Shake the pan occasionally to prevent leaves from sticking to the bottom. Use cress in stir-fries. The stems, flowers, and seeds of the plants are also edible, however. 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. Drinking boiled 20 grams of cress seeds improves bowel movement, expels gases and reduces the pain of colic. Use a mixture of mustard and cress... Cook cress as you would spinach. 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. Carol Wilson celebrates the unique taste of this versatile seasonal vegetable. 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. Sauté cress in butter for 10 minutes, serve as a vegetable. In fact watercress is one of the most nutritious vegetables and is a rich source of vitamins and essential minerals. Young leaves contain less mustard oil and so have a milder flavour. I already used some in a batch of egg salad after seeing several recipes for cress and egg salad sandwiches. Some cress may be hydroponically grown and will come to market with their root-balls attached. Garden cress and Upland cress are native to Europe where they have grown wild near slow-running waterways since ancient times. Especially in the Old World, cress is a very common inclusion in salads and sandwiches, since the unique and zesty flavor makes a … 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. The hot peppery taste comes from the mustard oil in the plant and its strong flavour stimulates the taste buds and digestion. The Latin genus name for watercress, nasturtium, comes from the root words. Cultivated watercress is grown on washed gravel and nourished with pure fresh spring water. Watercress was so popular in the past that every spring it was sold tied it into bunches in Covent Garden by London street sellers. I like to serve watercress with sea trout or salmon, where its refreshing flavour is the perfect complement to the rich tasting fish. Use cress as spicy greens and garnishes. Cress Serving Suggestions Use raw garden cress or watercress to lend a peppery flavor to salads and sandwiches. 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. Subscription offer: save 44% and receive a brand-new cookbook. Use a mixture of mustard and cress seedlings for a “mustard and cress” green salad. I’m all for using seasonal British foods. Magazine subscription – save 44% and get a cookbook of your choice. Watercress isn't just for salads. Cress contains vitamins A and C and potassium. Your email address will not be published. Drinking boiled water with cress seeds powder helps to treat leprosy patients. That’s why the French call their watercress soup potage de santé or ‘healthy soup’. In some cases, cooks use entire immature seedlings for a unique flavor, look, and texture. Cress will keep in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. Q: My CSA box this week included a large bunch of cress, which I’ve never worked with before. Tired leaves can be revived by rinsing in cool water. To keep leaves crisp, do not let them soak. Avoid leaves that are yellowing, slimy, or unpleasant smelling. Purée cress to make a chilled soup. He prepared a lavish banquet and served watercress after the fourth course, writing on the menu ‘Watercress, served alone to refresh the mouth’. Use raw garden cress or watercress to lend a peppery flavor to salads and sandwiches. The parts that grow above the ground are used to make medicine. Blend cress with scallions, yogurt or buttermilk and serve with salmon. The flavor of cress deteriorates after flowering. 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. 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. 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. Privacy Policy. Drain or dry the leaves as much as possible. Harvest To Table You can boil cress with other greens like mustards and corn salad. Do this just before serving. Cover the pan so that the cress steams in its own liquid. Cook-wilt cress in a saucepan or a skillet with just the water that clings to the leaves after washing. Watercress is native to South America and was brought from Peru to Europe in the late seventeenth century. How to Store Harvest, Cure, and Store Winter Squash. Cultivated watercress is grown on washed gravel and nourished with pure fresh spring water. Cress has a flavor affinity with buttermilk, cucumber, egg, goat cheese, mushrooms, potatoes, rice, roasted meats, tofu, tomatoes, and yogurt. Sauté cress in butter for 10 minutes, serve as a vegetable. Stand stems in a container of cold water and cover the tops with a plastic bag. Serve as a bed for roast beef or roast chicken so that it wilts and absorbs juices. Buyers ate the bunches from their hands, rather as we would eat an ice cream cone! That's something you can easily replicate at home. Thicken cress soup with potatoes and cream. Use cress in stir-fries. 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. Beer 52 exclusive offer: Get a free case of craft beer worth £24. 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. 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