A favorite additive for salads, soups, and sandwiches, fresh watercress has a pleasantly strong bite.
Watercress is among several varieties in the “cress” family, along with garden cress, bittercress, upland cress, and Indian-cress. It is considered the mildest species.
Watercress is typically sold in bunches, but smaller markets may stock it loose in bins. Look for firm stalks and large, dark leaves that are relatively clean.
Keep moist in a plastic bag and refrigerate. Do not wash. Watercress will remain fresh for up to five days. For freezing, wash and chop or puree.
• Just before using, dip in cold water to remove grit.
• Remove the lower portion of the stalk, which can be tough. Upper bracts are edible.
• Use in combination with lettuce on sandwiches.
• Crush or coarsely process and add to rice dishes.