Watercress

Watercress – one of the oldest leafy vegetable consumed by humans.

Watersress growing in clear stream

Watercress growing in clear stream

There is a seepage on the bank behind our house, which forms into a small creek that flows along the back alley. The creek bed is covered with watercress in great profusion. It thrives there almost all year round with the only possible exception of maybe a month in mid winter, when we get the occasional frost.

I love watercress. This amazing herb contains significant amounts of iron, calcium, iodine, manganese and folic acid, in addition to vitamins A, B6, C and K. It is also a sources of phytonutrients and antioxidants.

The trick is to find it. Since it is a semi aquatic plant, it grows along the banks and right in clean, unpolluted streams. If you know of one of these and it does not have any watercress in it, go buy some seeds at the local garden store, and establish your own watercress patch.

Once you picked some, remove the main stems and wash well.

Serve it as a green salad, by itself or mixed with dandelion leafs, lettuce or spinach. Toss it with your favorite oil and vinegar dressing, add some raspberries, sliced strawberries or apples and you have a very delicious salad.

I really like watercress soup.

Here is what you do:

  • About 1.5 lbs. watercress, main stems removed.

  • 2 medium potatoes, diced.

  • 2 shallots and 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped.

  • 4 cups chicken stock.

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

  • A pinch of grated nutmeg

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Directions

  • Saute' the shallots and garlic in butter until golden.

  • Add the stock, potatoes and spices and simmer for 5 minutes or until potatoes are soft.

  • Add watercress and simmer for another 2 minutes.

  • Puree the mixture.

  • Add the cream and you are done.


There are many recipes involving watercress on the internet. If you are interested, here  is one site.

Get field guides for this and other edible, wild plants, here.

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