Chef Jill Dedinsky Chats About Watercress
Chef Jill, Executive Chef of Chicago’s Goddess and Grocer, shares her thoughts on watercress and why she likes working with the baby green.
Q: How would you describe the flavor profile of watercress?
Chef: Watercress adds an unexpected bite of flavor to a variety of dishes. I would describe it as a toned down version of arugula- just a bit peppery and spicy.
Q: How can you use watercress beyond just as a garnish?
Chef: Watercress can be used in so many ways beyond a simple garnish or in a standard salad or salad mix. You can use it to make pesto, add it on sandwiches for extra flavor, or even simply as a sauteed green under a protein. The possibilities are endless!
Q: What is your favorite protein to pair watercress with?
Chef: Currently we are pairing it with a chicken thigh and it is amazing! The green complements the tender chicken with a crunch while giving it another layer of flavor.
Q: Why is watercress an intimidating green?
Chef: Watercress is unfamiliar to most people and they just need to be educated about it. I enjoy including it on my menu to help people learn about the flavor and texture of it as it is a green that people do not typically keep as a staple in their fridge. I like to provide customers with something new and different to inspire them to try it in their dishes at home.
Q: How do you balance out the powerful flavor of watercress?
Chef: We are tossing our watercress with miso honey mustard, avocado and roasted tomatoes! Don’t be afraid to use big flavors with watercress! The tastes all come together beautifully and balance out one another.