What is watercress?
With deep green leaves, and crisp, paler stems, watercress is related to mustard and is one of the strongest-tasting salad leaves available. It has a pungent, slightly bitter, peppery flavour and is highly nutritious, containing significant amounts of iron, calcium, vitamins A, C and E. It’s sold in either bunches or bags, and is good combined in a salad with milder leaves, or made into soup.
When is watercress in season?
Watercress is available all year round but is at its best from April until September.
Choose the best watercress
Go for crisp, dark green leaves, with no sign of yellowing or wilting.
How to prepare watercress
Wash and shake dry just before you’re about to use it. Both the leaves and stems are edible – just trim off any tough roots.
How to store watercress
Watercress is highly perishable, so store it in a perforated bag in the fridge and eat it within a couple of days. Alternatively, treat it like a bunch of flowers and put in a glass of water in the fridge, covering the leaves with a plastic bag – it can last a little longer that way.
How to cook watercress
In a salad with rocket and orange segments; combine with potatoes in a soup; use in tarts and omelettes; use to make white bread sandwiches or as a garnish for cooked foods such as game.
Alternatives to watercress