This is a general term for low-growing plants from the cabbage and mustard family with small leaves and a peppery taste. Commonly found varieties include watercress, which is cultivated in aquatic streams, and dittander, which grows wild. Garden, winter, meadow, Virginian, American, Australian, Brazil, and Alenois are other varieties of cultivated cress with varying degrees of pungency and pepperiness.
Large supermarkets, food halls, delis and speciality greengrocers stock increasing varieties of cress. It can also be bought from farm shops or online.
Keep punnets of cress on the windowsill, and follow the package instructions for watering. Bagged cress will remain fresh for a couple of days in the refrigerator.
Add cress to egg mayonnaise sandwiches, salads and soups; or use it to garnish canapés and grilled dishes. Cress is often found in bags of mixed salad leaves.
Article by Sejal Sukhadwala
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