Watercress is great and more commonly used in salads. It can be used in cooking as well: it cooks down quite a bit like spinach does. I like it best plucked from the stems then mixed with lettuces, or mixed into a chilled rice or couscous salad. Also GREAT instead of lettuce on a sandwich.
WATERCRESS GOAT CHEESE SALAD
1 Bunch watercress washed and dried
1/4 c walnut or pecan halves, toasted
4 oz goat cheese well chilled
Drizzle of olive oil, S & P
On each of 4 salad plates, place some of the watercress and pecans. Cut goat cheese into 8 slices. Place 2 slices on each salad. Arrange 2 goat cheese slices on each salad. Dress with olive oil and S&P.
Broccoli, Orange, and Watercress Salad
2 medium oranges
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon honey
1/8 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
2 cups small broccoli florets
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion, separated into rings
2 cups trimmed watercress
Peel and section oranges over a large bowl, and squeeze membranes to extract juice. Set orange sections aside, and reserve 1 tablespoon juice. Discard orange membranes.
1. Add the oil and the next 4 ingredients (oil through pepper) to reserved orange juice. Stir well; set aside.
Steam the broccoli, covered, 1 1/2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Rinse broccoli under cold water; drain well.
Add the broccoli, orange sections, onion, and watercress to the orange juice mixture, and toss well. Divide the salad evenly between 2 plates. Yield: 2 servings CALORIES 121(29% from fat); FAT 3.9g (sat 0.7g,mono 1.1g,poly 1.8g); PROTEIN 4.5g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 124mg; SODIUM 181mg; FIBER 7.8g; IRON 1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 20.9g
Cooking Light, MARCH 1997
Watercress Salad with Fennel and Citrus
The flavors of fennel and sweet oranges balance the peppery notes of the watercress and radishes.
4 cups trimmed watercress (about 1 bunch)
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced fennel bulb (about 1 small bulb)
3 navel oranges, sectioned
1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
Dash of sea salt
Dash of freshly ground black pepper
To prepare salad, combine the first 4 ingredients in a bowl.
1. To prepare dressing, combine juice and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle dressing over watercress mixture; toss gently to coat. Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup) CALORIES 58(42% from fat); FAT 2.7g (sat 0.4g,mono 1.9g,poly 0.3g); PROTEIN 1.2g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 52mg; SODIUM 52mg; FIBER 2.1g; IRON 0.3mg; CARBOHYDRATE 8.5g
Cooking Light, JANUARY 2002
Watercress History from Watercress.Co.Uk
This delicious and natural "super food" has been grown commercially in the pure spring waters of southern England since the early 1800s.
It used to be a staple part of the working class diet, most often eaten for breakfast in a sandwich. If the family was too poor to buy bread they ate it by itself and so watercress became known as the "poor man's bread."
Street sellers would then buy it from the market and add their own value to the watercress by forming it into bunches. In those days, bunches were handheld and eaten ice-cream cone style.
The harvesting of watercress was a labour intensive task and in the days before rubber boots, the workers wore thigh length leather boots carefully dubbined against the damp and hob nailed to give a grip on the base of the watercress bed. Even so they were not damp-proof and every morning men would wrap hessian strips around their feet and legs to absorb the moisture and prevent chafing.