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Posts Tagged ‘Watercress’

You should try this the next time you have some leftover roast chicken. In fact, it’s even worth cooking some chicken specially. Great for lunch with some fresh bread and butter.

Chopped Chicken Salad – serves 4 (generously)

  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, diced (or just use some leftover roast chicken which is what we did)
  • 3 celery sticks, diced
  • 4 scallions, sliced into rounds
  • ½ cucumber, deseeded and diced
  • 100g radishes, thinly sliced
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tarragon sprigs, leaves finely chopped
  • 2 thyme springs, leaves only
  • 1 heart of romaine lettuce or Little Gem lettuce, finely chopped
  • 50g watercress, stems finely chopped and leaves left whole
  • 50g rocket, roughly chopped
  • 50g Parmesan, finely grated

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp runny honey
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

You need to start with a very large bowl, big enough to toss all of the salad ingredients together in.

Make the salad dressing in the bowl by whisking all of the ingredients together with some salt and black pepper.

Add the chicken to the dressing in the bowl and toss to coat. Fold in the chopped celery, scallions, cucumber, radishes and cherry tomatoes, then the herbs. Stir it all together and season with salt and black pepper.

When you are ready to serve, add the lettuce, watercress, rocket and Parmesan to the bowl. Toss everything together and serve as it is or tip out onto a large serving dish.

(Original recipe from The Hairy Bikers’ One Pot Wonders by Si King & Dave Myers, Seven Dials, 2019.)

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We loved this mussel dish from Gill Meller’s book, Gather. Mussels, watercress and bacon are a truly fabulous combination, but not one we’d thought of before. Our farm shop had landcress rather than watercress available so that’s what we used, but it’s very similar, just not grown in running water. Cleaning mussels is a job I love and hate in equal measure, same with cleaning mushrooms. 

Wine Suggestion: A new find – the Quinta de Chocapalha Arinto from near Lisbon in Portugal; zesty citrus and hints of saltiness. So fresh and tasting of days at beachside restaurants eating mussels, helpful when travel is restricted.

Mussels with watercress and bacon – serves 2

  • 2-4 rashers streaky bacon
  • a small knob of butter
  • ½ a small onion, sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1kg mussels, cleaned
  • 150g watercress, plus extra to serve

Heat a splash of olive oil in a frying pan, then cook the bacon for 6-8 minutes, or until crispy. Keep warm.

Put a knob of butter and a spoon of bacon fat from the pan into a large sauce pan. Heat until bubbling, then add the onions and garlic and season with a little salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes or until the onion is soft but not coloured, then add the mussels with 2 tbsp of water. Bring to the boil, then cover the pan with a lid and shake gently. Cook the mussels for a couple of minutes or until the shells are just open. Throw away any that don’t open.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the mussels from the pan into a warm bowl, leave the onion and cooking liquor behind on the heat. Cover the mussels with a tea towel and put somewhere warm. You need to work quickly now to make the sauce while the mussels stay warm.

Put the watercress into the pan and cook for a minute or two until wilted, then tip into a  food processor and purée until smooth. This should be quite thick so if it’s too liquid, put it back into the pan and boil off the excess liquid over a high heat.

Put a generous spoon of purée on each plate with the mussels, crispy bacon and a little fresh watercress.

(Original recipe from Gather by Gill Meller, Quadrille, 2017.)

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Watercress & Scallion salad

We love this green salad with barbecues as the scallions taste amazing and you’re not likely to get the barbecue out just for a green salad.

Watercress & scallion salad – serves 8 to 10

  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 shallots, sliced into fine rings
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 bunches scallions, trimmed
  • 4 bunches of watercress (or failing that a bag of mixed salad leaves as we had to resort to this time but it we prefer it with watercress)

Heat a pan over a medium heat, then fry the shallots for a few minutes with a splash of oil, then add the sugar and vinegar. Bring to the boil, then set to one side.

Toss the scallions in a little oil then cook on a hot barbecue for a a couple of minutes on each side (use a griddle pan if that’s easier). Put the scallions in a bowl with the shallots and the rest of the olive oil. Season and toss with the watercress.

(Original recipe by James Martin IN: BBC Good Food Magazine, April 2008)

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Watercress, cucumber & radish salad A lovely later summer salad. We used mixed radishes from our garden – red, white and everything in between. Freshly picked they had a wonderful peppery kick that we never seem to get from shop bought radishes.

Watercress, cucumber & radish salad – serves 8

  • 1 cucumber
  • 200g watercress
  • 300g baby radishes, halved if large

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • 6 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 sprig of dill, leaves only, chopped

Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together in a bowl, then season.

Peel the cucumber into long, thin strips using a vegetable peeler. Discard the seedy part.

Toss the watercress, cucumber and radishes together in a serving bowl and toss with the dressing.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food.)

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This is the first of three side dishes which we served with a delicious baked ham (scroll down to see the other dishes and final result).

If you are having guests between now and Christmas we highly recommend this tasty menu (much of which can be prepared in advance). We served this up on a Friday night after work, as part of the Irish Foodies Christmas Cookalong,  and it was entirely hassle free.

We boiled the ham and roasted the beetroot the night before.

Menu to serve 8:

  • Ginger beer & tangerine glazed ham
  • Roasted beetroot with watercress & horseradish apple sauce
  • Chilli & tangerine braised lentils
  • Roasted cauliflower with garlic, bay & lemon

Roasted beetroot with watercress & horseradish apple sauce (to feed 8 as a side dish)

1kg raw unpeeled beetroot

2 apples, peeled and chopped

1 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp cider or red wine vinegar

6 tbsp freshly grated horseradish

4 tbsp soured cream

watercress

  • Heat oven to 180C (gas 6). Leave the beetroot whole – wash and pat dry.
  • Wrap individually in foil and roast until tender (1-2 hours depending on how big they are). Cool in the foil before peeling.
  • Heat a small frying pan and toss in the apples with the sugar and a tbsp of water. Cover and cook until mushy. Remove from the heat, add the vinegar and whizz in a food processor (or use a hand blender).
  • Stir the horseradish and sour cream into the sauce and season with salt.
  • To serve, cut the beetroot into wedges, put in a bowl and mix with the sauce. Serve on a bed of watercress.

Click here for original recipe from BBC Good Food.

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