Friday, 22 May 2009

Watercress week

Artichoke over at British Food and Drink has just been blogging about watercress - this is national watercress week, apparently. A good excuse to buy a bunch of this lovely, peppery beauty. My bunch comes from John Hurd in Wiltshire, but the watercressing focus seems to be in Hampshire, where they had a festival last week.
The Watercress website has a good range of facts, history and recipes, including this gem: 'The ancient Greeks called watercress kardamon; they believed it could brighten their intellect, hence their proverb “Eat watercress and get wit.” ' Yep, no-one tells them like the ancient Greeks. And Roman emperors ate watercress to help them make bold decisions. I take it that there's not much green stuff at 10 Downing Street these days.

Watercress went mass market with the arrival of the railways: the watercress line, running from Alresford to London ensured that the watercress arrived fresh and perky at Covent Garden.

Watercress sellers sold on the streets, making watercress a very early fast food.

I've eaten watercress for as long as I can remember, but I think the most my mother did with it was put it in sandwiches and salads. Those were pre-pesto days. My bag comes with three recipes: soup, yes, the inevitable pesto, and a salad of watercress, chicory, roquefort and bacon. I'll rummage in the fridge when I get home for a suitably celebratory dish.

1 comment:

goodshoeday said...

I really like Watercress but husband is not a fan so I rarely get to have it. I love it on roast chicken and mayo sandwiches yum . Maybe making some pesto for myself would be the answer.