Ready to try watercress – the super-est (but least practical) superfood? It’s the CDC‘s #1 PFV (Powerhouse Fruit & Vegetables). Despite my shock at its ranking, initial balking, and further obstacles in getting familiar with this impractical and un-versatile superfood, I do have 2 applications to recommend. You can click over to Watercress: Super-est (but least practical) Superfood to read about the journey and more about PFVs.
It took some doing, but I tried and found two recipes I actually fully enjoyed, and might make again if I see cress on sale – A salad with watercress, grilled sweet potato (yum!!), grilled pork chop, and orange honey vinaigrette; and a potato salad with creamy yogurt and wilted watercress dressing.
I was inspired by a Martha recipe for Watercress Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, but since it was WAY too hot to be turning on the oven, I took further inspiration from the sensational grilled sweet potato salad in Salad for Dinner: Complete Meals for All Seasons. I added grilled pork, and used fresh-squeezed orange juice rather than lemon juice in the dressing. Yum. A grilled chicken breast could very well stand in for the pork. The sweetness of the potatoes, orange juice, honey, and candied nuts really balanced out the peppery-ness of the raw cress in a salad like this. Creamy feta was a good add-on as well.
Another idea would be to add watercress to turkey or roast beef sandwiches, which can be quite bland and could use some strategic pepper if you ask me. However, not being a turkey sandwich eater…I haven’t tried this, nor have I been able to convince my turkey-sandwich-eating husband to do so.
Maybe it could be made into a sauce for steak? That’s another place that the peppery flavor would be a good complement. There are recipes for watercress sauce to go with salmon, I haven’t cooked steak in years…so it’s another idea I haven’t tried myself. Martha’s Slow-Roasted Salmon with Green Sauce or chef Jill Hough’s Pan-Seared Salmon with Upland Cress Creme Fraiche would be a good place to start, though.
So tell me…what would, will, or do YOU do with watercress?