12 May 2017 | Schwartz
It's time for the unsung hero of fresh spring dishes to take centre stage in these wonderfully tangy watercress recipes. In Victorian times, Covent Garden street vendors found a roaring trade selling bunches of watercress for people to eat like ice cream cones, though It's fair to say this isn't the most popular way to enjoy the leaves today. Still, watercress should still definitely feature in your springtime cooking. Try your hand at beautifully smooth soup, fragrant fish sauce and fresh salads.
Watercress packs more flavour than many salad leaves, meaning this tasty salad is a lunch you can really look forward to. Poaching salmon with bay leaves will leave you with deliciously soft and flaky fish, which is perfectly paired with sweet cooked baby beetroot.
Middle Eastern food has surged in popularity in recent years, and halloumi cheese has become a particular favourite; its salty flavour is perfectly complemented by zingy orange in this salad. Crushing fennel seeds into the dressing ensures its aromatic flavour is in every bite, while a sprinkle of seeds and pine nuts brings the dish together with a satisfying crunch.
Raw watercress is perfect in fresh salads – but have you tried cooking with it, too? In this watercress potato soup, delicate Jersey Royal new potatoes are boiled in the same pan as watercress stalks and ground ginger. This both unlocks their flavours and infuses the potatoes while they cook. Stir in the watercress leaves at the end and add a sprinkle of parsley for a delicious hearty soup.
Crispy, pan-fried salmon with smooth and creamy dill sauce is a winning combination. After cooking the salmon, put it to one side and pour the cream and yogurt into the same pan. This means you don't lose any of the fishy flavours, which are further enhanced by dill and English mustard. Serving this with a generous handful of watercress adds a refreshingly different texture to the dish. If you're strapped for time but still want a creamy sauce for your salmon, use our creamy watercress sauce, which is ready in minutes.