Watercress Week Recipes

Celebrate National Watercress Week (19 – 26 May 2013) with Three Scrumptious Summer Recipes

Herald the arrival of the British watercress season and National Watercress Week  from 19 – 26 May 2013 with three delicious new recipes, perfect for summer picnics in the park or light al fresco suppers.

Why not start a lazy Sunday by serving a satisfying but fresh tasting Warm Watercress Potato Cake with Poached Egg and Trout for brunch? Or for a speedy and healthier alternative to a quiche try making a Watercress and Goat’s Cheese Frittata.

If you’re planning a summer barbeque and want to serve a salad with a difference then give a Warm Watercress, Chicken and Blueberry Salad a go. This deliciously unites the peppery zing of watercress with crunchy pumpkin seeds and sweet blueberries.

Watercress is so versatile it can be used throughout the year.  As well as using this lush peppery leaf as the basis for a refreshing salad, you can wilt it into pasta, serve it with your burgers at barbecues, add it to sandwiches for picnics and throw it into stir fries to give them a kick.

Watercress is the ideal ingredient to boost your health ahead of your summer holiday too. Brimming with over 15 essential vitamins and minerals and grown in pure spring water, it contains gram for gram more vitamin C than oranges, more calcium than milk and more iron than spinach. Research has also shown that watercress is an important player in the field of cancer prevention.

You can also celebrate this super British crop at the annual Watercress Festival held in Alresford, Hampshire on 19 May 2013. New for 2013 is the Great British Watercress Cook Off searching for the nation’s best watercress recipe. The winner will receive a £2000 cash prize plus the chance to demonstrate their recipe live at the Festival.

Other highlights include a traditional cavalcade crowning two local children the Watercress King and Queen, the hilarious Watercress Eating Championships competition with contestants eating two bags of watercress as quickly as possible, locally based stall holders serving delicious food made with local produce, live music and morris dancers.

To enter the Great British Watercress Cook Off simply devise a delicious watercress recipe and upload it to www.watercress.co.uk and you and a friend could be whisked away to Hampshire for the live final this Spring. Alternatively, send your recipe to info@watercress.co.uk or post to: Jessica Archard, Mustard Communications, 6th Floor, Regal House, 70 London Road, Twickenham, TW1 3QS.

Step into summer with these mouth-watering recipes:

Warm Watercress Potato Cake with Poached Egg and Trout

Warm Watercress Potato Cake with Poached Egg and Trout

Warm Watercress Potato Cake with Poached Egg and Trout

Celebrate the best of British food in the early summer with this simple and elegant brunch or lunch dish. If you prefer, make the cakes up the night before and chill until you’re ready to bake them the next day.

Per portion: 398 calories, 21.9g protein, 30.3g carbohydrate, 21.9g fat, 4.3g saturated fat, 2.8g fibre, 1.11g salt

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Serves 4

700g potatoes, peeled and cut into medium chunks
100g watercress, lightly chopped
1 egg, beaten
4 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
To serve:
150g hot smoked trout fillets, broken into flakes
50g watercress
4 eggs

1. Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 10-15mins or until they are tender. Drain, return to the pan and mash until smooth. Add the chopped watercress, beaten egg and plenty of seasoning. Mix well then leave until cool enough to handle.
2. Preheat the oven to 200oC/ 400oF/Gas Mark 6. Divide the mixture into four, and shape each into a neat cake shape. Brush on all sides with the oil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 25 mins or until the cakes are golden brown.
3. When ready to serve, bring a frying pan of salted water to the boil. Reduce the heat so the water is just simmering, then crack the four eggs and gently drop them into the water. Cook for 3-4 mins or until the eggs are poached to your liking. Lift them from the water with a slotted spoon and drain.
4. Place a potato cake on each plate, top with watercress, flaked trout and the poached egg. Serve straight away.

Watercress and Goat’s Cheese Frittata

Watercress and Goat’s Cheese Frittata

Watercress and Goat’s Cheese Frittata

Per portion (when serving six): 238 calories, 11.8g protein, 12.6g carbohydrate, 15.9g fat, 5.3g saturated fat, 1.1g fibre, 0.55g salt

Prep: 10 mins
Cooking: 15-20mins
Serves 4 – 6

3 tbsp olive oil
400g cooked new potatoes, sliced
6 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
100g watercress, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)
100g chèvre goats cheese, diced
6 medium eggs
4 tbsp milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper
salad leaves to serve

1. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the potatoes and cook over a medium heat for 8 mins or until they are golden. Stir in the spring onions and watercress, sauté for 2 mins.
2. Remove from the heat. Scatter over the cheese. Beat the eggs with the milk and plenty of seasoning. Pour over the watercress mixture then cook over a medium heat for about 5 mins or until the base is set.
3. Transfer the pan to under a hot grill and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the surface is set and pale golden. Leave to cool in the pan for 5 mins to firm up and cool slightly. Transfer to a board and serve warm or cold in slices.
Warm Watercress Chicken and Blueberry Salad

Warm Watercress Chicken and Blueberry Salad

Warm Watercress Chicken and Blueberry Salad

Per portion: 227 calories, 21.4g protein, 6.4g carbohydrate, 13g fat, 2.2g saturated fat, 1.6g fibre, 0.22g salt

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
300g mini chicken fillets, cut into bite sized pieces
3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
6 spring onions, sliced
100g blueberries
150g watercress

For the dressing:
zest and juice 1 lime
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey

1. To cook the chicken, heat the oil in a non stick frying pan, add the pieces and sauté over a medium heat for 6-8 mins or until golden on the outside and cooked through.
2. Add the pumpkin seeds and cook for a further 2 mins until they are lightly toasted. Add the spring onion and blueberries, stir well to mix, then remove from the heat.
3. To make the dressing: place all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together with a fork. Season to taste.
4. To serve, arrange the watercress in a salad bowl, add the dressing and toss to mix. Add the chicken mixture and serve.

Visit the Watercress Festival website for more yummy watercress recipes.