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How to Cook Watercress

Watercress is simple to prepare and brings big flavor to a wide range of dishes.

We offer recommendations for different ways to cook watercress and incorporate it into everyday meals, as well as instructions for how to prepare watercress.

Watercress is a wonderfully versatile green, adding a delicate crunch to dishes when added raw and a delicious flavor when cooked. Convinced you want to cook watercress? We have some suggestions for you (you can thank us later).

How to Prepare Watercress

Preparing watercress takes little time, but provides a big health & flavor payoff.

Simply rinse it thoroughly in cold water and use a kitchen knife to cut off any over-sized stems. Blot the watercress dry using paper towels or use a standard salad spinner. Easy enough, right?

Once you’ve finished rinsing, you can prepare the watercress by lightly steaming it or eat it raw. However, exposure to heat may inactivate an important chemical found in watercress known as PEITC, so we recommend eating it raw for health purposes. Prepared either way, watercress provides the same unique taste and is a great addition to any dish.

Add Watercress to Sandwiches

Watercress can be used to add flavor and crunch to sandwiches. We recommend chopping raw watercress into small pieces, mixing it with cream cheese and chives, and spreading it on to whole grain bread. Add some fresh cucumber slices, and enjoy a light sandwich that’s bursting with flavor.

Some other sandwich recipes we love (and can be found in our Recipe Index) include a delightfully refreshing Mediterranean Wrap, a savory Chicken Breast Sandwich with Onion, Aioli, & Watercress, and a vegetarian-friendly Tahini-Watercress, Arugula, & Spinach Salad Wrap.

Add It to Soups

Soups are taken to the next level with the addition of watercress’s distinctive flavor. Cook watercress into soups by chopping it into fine pieces and simmering it in chicken or vegetable stock. Puree in a blender or food processor and use it as a base for a heartwarming soup by adding a variety of herbs and chopped vegetables. For a hearty potato-watercress soup, puree boiled potatoes along with the watercress-infused stock.

Some scrumptious soups featuring watercress that you can learn about on our site include a Shiitake & White Bean Soup with Watercress, Chilled Asparagus Soup, and an Italian Egg Drop Soup.

Add It to Salads

Salads get supercharged with nutrients when made with watercress. This can be as simple as adding freshly prepared watercress to your standard salads, or you can build a hearty salad around the leafy green’s unique flavor. Do your taste buds a favor and combine watercress with cucumbers, a touch of fennel, and a sweet lime dressing. We also suggest using sweet fruits such as papaya, pomegranate, mandarins, or pear in a watercress salad to balance its peppery taste.

We recommend trying our Mediterranean Tuna Antipasto Salad, Loaded Watercress Salad, and Greek Salad with Watercress & Chicken for a delicious (and healthy) dining experience.

Add It to Pizza

A quick and simple way to add the health preserving properties of watercress to your diet is to feature it in your next homemade pizza. We suggest a creation with ricotta cheese, tomatoes, watercress, fresh basil, and a little pancetta. Sound good? Wait until you try it. Another recipe worth taking a look at is our Clam, Cress and Bacon Pizza.

Other ways to enjoy watercress include using it in your next heart healthy smoothie, add it to your next omelet or stir fry, or use it as a beautiful, edible garnish.

Featured Recipes

Glazed Salmon with Sesame Watercress Salad
Gingered Watercress Chicken Soup
Wilted Watercress Shrimp and Farro
Spicy Watercress Herb Sauce

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