Eat the Season: Watercress

By George McIvor, chairman of The Master Chefs of Great Britain.
The Master Chefs of Great Britain was formed in 1980 to provide a
forum for the exchange of culinary ideas and to further the profession through training and the guidance of young chefs. In addition, the
association seeks to promote all that is best about British cuisine and produce. We are delighted to be working with Country Range and providing information and recipes for their Eat the Season feature.
For more information on the association and the competitions and training opportunities we provide contact masterchefs@msn.com.

By New Covent Garden Market, the UK’s leading wholesale fruit and vegetable market www.newcoventgardenmarket.com Properties: Watercress plants produce four small round green leaves. Their stems are
hollow, allowing it to float in water where it grows. Part of the same family as broccoli and kale, it is a nutritional powerhouse with several health benefits.
Usage: The entire watercress plant is edible, and the leaves add a peppery flavour to salads and sandwiches. Eaten raw, it tastes bright and fresh, however the flavour becomes less pungent when heated, allowing for a gentle kick to seep through into soups or sauces.
Notes: For a less punchy flavour, use young leaves which contain less mustard oil and so have a milder taste, ideal for serving alongside eggs.
Health benefits: Gram per gram, watercress contains more vitamin C than an orange and more calcium than milk. It is thought to help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of cancer and slow skin ageing as well as helping maintain a strong immune system.

A CRACKING IDEA
For a healthy and colourful treat, try this roasted red and yellow pepper and watercress frittata.

SPICE IT UP Create a delicious garnish for these authentic lamb rolls with Bramley apple ketchup and a spicy watercress and lime dressing.

CHILL OUT Heat things up with this spicy chicken, watercress, avocado and chilli salad.

DO THE SALSA Jazz up a traditional roast rump and smoked rib of Scotch beef and Jersey Royal with some salsa verde made with watercress and grated horseradish.

PASTA PERFECTION This simple creamy watercress spaghetti is made by combining butter, watercress, white wine and cream, and topped with grated cheese and watercress garnish.

Recipes supplied by: 1. Cooks & Co, 2. The University of West London 2018 winners of Zest Quest Asia, 3. Cooks & Co, 4. John McMahon of Prestonfield House, 5. Pritchitts