Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What to do with watercress?

A mysterious force caused me to buy watercress seeds for my newly plowed garden, without really knowing what I'd use it for. Of course, the lovely little spicy green was the first to sprout and first to harvest. Large bag of watercress in hand, I went about finding a way to use them.

Garden fresh watercress
My first instinct was to make sushi, because the local favorite sushi joint, Hayashi's, uses it in some of their rolls. I won't get into how to make sushi because I'm really pretty bad at it, but below are the ahi (locally caught, I swear) and watercress I rolled up with brown rice.

The real star of the meal was the Miso with Watercress Soup. Adapted from this one from the Mayo Clinic.

Start by chopping up half of a yellow onion and soften for 5 minutes over medium heat with 1 TBL olive oil.

Add 1 TBL chopped fresh ginger, 2 cloves chopped garlic, and 1 chopped tomato. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes or until tomato is softened.

Add 3 cups vegetable stock, broth, or plain old water. If you use water, add some salt. Bring to a boil, and then right back down to a simmer.

Add 1 heading TBL of miso paste and stir to dissolve. Be sure not to boil the soup after you've added the miso paste or it will kill all the wonderful little living microorganisms that make it a beneficial food. Once dissolved, add 1 cup of watercress and allow to simmer for another minute or so. Garnish with chopped green onion.

We really liked the flavors and chunkiness of this soup. My husband normally doesn't like soup because he says it's not filling enough, but approved this one.

On to more experiments. Got any uses for watercress I should know about? 

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