Old Fashioned Watercress

Old Fashioned Watercress
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Watercress is an old fashioned plant, yet many perceive it as "trendy" or "fancy". It's easy to grow from seed for harvesting year round, and it's readily available in most produce sections.
Watercress may be seeded directly in very moist soil 1/4" deep. Thin the seedlings to 4" apart and keep well watered, or start seed indoors, keeping the soil moist. You may transplant to large pots, a cold frame, or your garden using soil which is fertile and rich. Keep the soil moist, or sit pots in pans of water which you replenish daily.

Watercress can be harvested as needed. It's biting taste is a wonderful addition to your fresh salads, and a favorite for tea sandwiches. Pick some up on your next trip to the produce section or farmer's market if not growing your own, and try these classic recipes.

Watercress Salad

Ingredients:

1 pint watercress

1 red onion

French dressing

Pick over the leaves of the cress, removing all bruised or wilted ones, wash and drain. Break the stems into small two inch pieces with your fingers. Place cress in a salad bowl, top with thinly sliced onion and your favorite French dressing.

Variations: Add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. You may mix the cress half and half with dandelion greens as well and use the same recipe.

Watercress Sandwiches

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups cress

paprika

1/4 cup mayonnaise

Brown bread

Wash, dry and tear the watercress into bite size pieces. Sprinkle the watercress with salt and paprika, then mix with mayonnaise. Lay between sliced of brown bread and cut into small triangles.

Variation: Mix 3 hard cooked eggs into the cress and chop both finely. Spread on thin slices of buttered wheat bread.

Watercress Soup

Ingredients:

1 quart chopped watercress

1 quart stock of your choice

1 cup whole milk, half and half or cream, heated

small onion, shredded, or processed fine

2 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons butter

1/2 tsp. salt

pepper and nutmeg to taste

Wash the cress well, and chop fine (keeping the stems on). Mix the chopped cress and your stock; cook about 30 minutes and puree in blender, processor or you can press through a strainer with a wooden spoon. Mix the flour with the butter, then add along with the your heated milk, onion and seasonings to the broth. Bring to a light boil and cook two minutes. Makes 5 servings.

Related Features:

Nasturtium Tips and Recipes

Dressing Recipes

 

About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at Harvestmoongazette.blogspot.com.

 
 

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