23 Watercress Recipes We're Just Wild About
With its delicate stems and leaves, watercress often gets the garnish treatment. But nutritionally speaking, it offers far more than a sprinkle of peppery flavor. To maximize the crucifer's vitamin C benefits, enjoy it raw, says Bonnie Taub-Dix, a New York City-based dietitian and nutritionist. For a dose of antioxidants and calcium, harness it by the handful in these energizing recipes.
Watercress is a small dark, leafy green with thick stems and a peppery taste that mellows once it's cooked. It's available throughout the year, but it's at its peak from April through June. When shopping for watercress, look for healthy, green leaves and sniff for a fresh, spicy scent. Store it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Watercress makes for a delicious base for salad recipes, like this Watercress, Radicchio, and Radish Salad pictured here. All three varieties of leaves are tossed together in a classic vinaigrette made with lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and olive oil. Serve it alongside grilled chicken, burgers, or poached salmon—it goes well with anything and everything. Another simple salad option is this desk-friendly Watercress Chopped Salad, which is easy to take on the go and packed with protein-rich edamame and rich, ripe avocados.
We also like using watercress as a change in recipes where we might otherwise use spinach, such as one of the heart-healthy add-ins for this Mushroom, Parmesan, and Watercress Omelet. And it works double duty as a garnish and crunchy side for this takeout-inspired Orange Pork with Watercress Rice recipe.
Enjoy these fresh ideas and recipes that show off the wonder of watercress.
Orange Pork with Watercress Rice
Super-Grain Soup with Watercress and Mushrooms
We love this savory soup when the temperatures cool off. A variety of flavorful, gourmet mushrooms are sautéed with thinly sliced red onions and quinoa, then finish cooking in a rich stock. A big bunch of watercress is the pop of green that this otherwise beige bowl craves.
Watercress Chopped Salad
It's easy to be green with this clean lunch option. Healthy fats and fiber from avocado and edamame make this salad filling enough to be a meal.
Don't be turned off by the lengthy time needed to complete this dish—an hour is reserved for letting farro cool off. The rest of the dish, including a quick cranberry-infused vinaigrette, comes together in just about 15 minutes.
Mushroom, Parmesan, and Watercress Omelet
Watercress Pesto Pasta
Don't let basil have all the fun! Watercress makes a delectable pesto, too, when paired with toasted pine nuts, lemon zest, garlic, and red-pepper flakes. Toss with better-for-you farro spaghetti and more watercress.
Fried-Egg Breakfast BLT with Watercress
Asparagus and Watercress Pizza
Salmon, Avocado, and Watercress Tea Crackers
Is it tea time yet? Because we're dying to serve these sophisticated yet unfussy crackers topped with salmon salad, thinly sliced avocado, and crisp watercress leaves. Finish with a squeeze of lemon.
Turkey, Avocado, and Cress Wrap
Mashed avocado, mayo, mustard, and capers make a sensational spread for this simple wrap. It elevates the flavors of the roast turkey breast, cucumber, and watercress nestled inside.
Watercress-Horseradish Deviled Eggs
Roasted Golden-Beet, Avocado, and Watercress Salad
Watercress with Garlic and Scrambled Eggs
Start the morning off with some good-for-you greens—amp up your scrambled eggs with fresh watercress and a touch of garlic.
Potato and Leek Galette with Watercress
Soy-Glazed Salmon with Watercress Salad
A tangle of watercress tossed with orange segments, thinly sliced onion, and a sweet-and-savory vinaigrette makes a delicious accompaniment for succulent broiled salmon.
Watercress and Leek Soup
Watercress does double duty in this dish—it's cooked and puréed into the creamy soup and served raw on top, dressed in lemon juice and olive oil.
Grapefruit and Watercress Salad
We love the combination of textures and flavors in this simple salad—sweet-tart grapefruit, peppery watercress, creamy avocado, and a zingy white-wine vinaigrette.
Chicken with Watercress Salad
Thinly pounded chicken breasts are one of the quickest ways to get dinner on the table. Here, they're flavored with lemon and cumin, grilled, and topped with a watercress, radish, and avocado salad.
Steak, Watercress, and Orange Salad
A dinner salad for the ages! Pan-cooked flank steak is paired with fresh watercress, sliced navel oranges, roasted cashews, and a mustardy red-wine vinaigrette in this hearty dish..