Would you eat something called “twisted nose”? Well, maybe you should!
Watercress, named “twisted nose” by Romans centuries ago due to its peppery taste, is a nutrient packed, leafy green superfood. Grown in natural spring water, it has a centuries-long history of use for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Watercress is especially delicious when harvested young in the spring, or from new growth in the fall.
SELECTION and STORAGE
Whether growing watercress yourself, or purchasing it at a Farmers Market or local grocer, select those with deep green, crisp leaves, not wilting or yellow.
- Fill a large bowl with water, then add a teaspoon of vinegar and pinch of salt to it.
- Submerge the watercress into the bowl of water, gently separating each stem and rubbing the leaves to remove any soil or other particles.
- Once thoroughly cleaned, drain and rinse the watercress, shaking off excess water.
- To maximize freshness and nutrient value, use watercress the same day as purchased.
- Alternatively, the stems may be submerged in cold water or wrapped in wet towels with the tops covered by a plastic bag before storing in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Discard any yellow or wilting leaves or stems before using.
HOW TO USE
Watercress is extremely versatile! It is much more tender than kale or similar sturdy greens so it sautes quickly.
It has a mild green, yet slight peppery flavor that compliments almost any dish. It pairs well with other greens, eggs, thyme, oregano, parsley, beets, apples, oranges, nuts and seeds, and most vinaigrette.
- as a garnish on an egg, meat or vegetable dish
- blended into a soup
- sautéed with olive oil and garlic and topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- in salads, particularly with Romaine or spinach
- blended into a smoothie
- in an omelet or other egg dish
- create or add to pesto or pasta sauce
- as part of a sandwich, flatbread or wrap
- as a topping on pizza
- blended into mayonnaise, aioli or other spread
FUN FOOD FACTS
Watercress is a “Powerhouse Superfood”, as noted by the CDC, with more than 15 essential vitamins and minerals.
Eighty grams of watercress provides
- more iron than spinach
- more calcium than milk
- more folate than bananas
- more vitamin E than broccoli
- more vitamin C than a clementine
according to the Watercress Company and Integrative Nutrition
© 2018 Susan Denzer, Love + Craft Kitchen, LLC, All Rights Reserved