The wonders of watercress
Watercress is an often overlooked leafy green that not only is choc a bloc with goodness but it packs a punch in the flavour department too. Its small, round leaves and edible stems have a peppery, slightly spicy flavour.
Watercress is part of the Brassicaceae family of vegetables, which also includes kale, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. Once considered a weed, it was first cultivated in the UK in the early 1800s but is now grown in watery beds throughout the world.
This peppery veg is low in calories but packs a vast array of nutrients. Nutrient density is a measure of the nutrients a food contains in relation to how many calories it provides. Therefore, watercress is an extremely.
Boasting many important vitamins and minerals, including over 100% of the RDI for vitamin K, this nutrient dense veg is also extremely high in antioxidants, which may help prevent chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Watercress has many potential benefits for heart health too, including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Diets high in cruciferous vegetables are linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
So what’s not to love about this peppery little nutritious gem? Grown in the UK between April & October, so buy now while still in season and get the best taste whilst supporting British Growers.
Great in salads and cooking, try these recipes for inspiration, one paring peppery watercress with seasonal, earthy and sweet beetroot, and one showcasing the flavour of watercress in a warming soup just in time for the Autumnal weather.
SPICY WATERCRESS & BEETROOT SALAD
This blissful combination of peppery watercress and sweet beetroot is only made even more delicious with a generous drizzle of our spicy, zesty Sweet Chilli Dressing.
· 3-4tbsp Lincolnshire Drizzle Sweet Chilli Dressing
· 2 large handfuls watercress
· 4 cooked beetroot, cubed or sliced
· Toasted pinenuts
Arrange the watercress on a large plate and scatter over the beetroot. Drizzle over the dressing and sprinkle with the pinenuts. Serve immediately.
To make it into more of a meal, add some cheese, feta or blue cheese works really well.
I love the distinctive fresh peppery flavour of watercress. This soup has a delicious blend of ingredients — with a hint of lemon, which adds a subtle surprise.
· 30ml/2 tbsp Lincolnshire Drizzle Lemon Dressing
· 1 small onion, chopped
· 1 small stick celery
· 350g/12oz potato, peeled and diced
· 600ml/1pt chicken or vegetable stock
· 3 (85g) bags watercress
· 150ml/1/4pt milk
· pinch of nutmeg
· squeeze of lemon juice
· salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat the Lemon Dressing in a large pan, add the onion and celery and sauté over a medium heat for 5 mins until pale golden. Stir in the potato and stock and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 10 mins or until the potato is tender.
2. Stir in the watercress, cover and cook for a further 5 mins or until the watercress is wilted. Transfer the soup to a food processor and blitz until smooth. Return the soup to the rinsed out pan add the milk, nutmeg, and seasoning to taste. Gently reheat until piping hot and serve with crusty bread.