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Culinary Intricacies for Cooking with Garden Cress

Plamena M.Plamena M.
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Garden Cress

Garden cress is a combination of vegetable and herb. In cuisine, chefs use the cultivated plant. It prefers water and thrives around it.

In the distant past it was used as a tonic in battles, as well as a medicine. However, its most wide use in the past was related to the English working class. Whenever they had no bread, they used it as a main food source. And so, even today, garden cress is called "poor man's bread" in some areas.

The leaves of garden cress are used in cuisine. Depending on the variety, they are smooth, juicy and varying in size and shape. They are distinguished by a spicy taste, similar to that of horseradish.

Garden cress leaves are rich in beneficial substances, such as iron, iodine, vitamin C and others. Plus, it is distinct due to its minimal amount of calories. It has been proven that 1/3 cup (80 g) of this vegetable daily is capable of substituting 5 servings of fruits and vegetables.


Garden cress leaves are mainly used to decorate a range of dishes and sandwiches. It is used fresh and does not need any heat treatment. It goes well with egg products, as well as cheeses.

But besides fresh, it is also used boiled. All it needs is several minutes in hot water to soften. Thus prepared, it is a perfect addition to sauces and purees. It is also used to prepare soups with garden cress.

Garden cress's spicy taste transforms it into an excellent finale for dishes with game, roasted meat and fish sauces. However, if used in excess it causes the dish to become very bitter. It is combined with heavy products with an unobtrusive odor, where it can truly shine.

Besides the leaves of garden cress, some use its sprouts too. Along with the leaves though, they are a superb addition to salads and garnishes.

Garden Cress Soup

Garden Cress Soup

Ingredients: 17.5 oz garden cress, 2 tbsp oil, 1 potato, 1 head of an old onion, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, 2 1/2 cups chicken broth, 2 1/2 cups milk, 1/4 cup liquid cream.

Preparation: Heat the oil in a deep pot. Add the diced potato and onion. Stir, sprinkle with salt and black pepper to taste. Reduce the heat on the stove and leave for 5 min. to simmer.

Add the broth and milk. Increase the heat and once it bubbles, lower the heat once again and leave for another 10 min.

Add the chopped garden cress, stir and leave for another 4-5 min. without the lid. Transfer the soup to a blender and blend until homogenous.

Pour the mixture back in the pot and season to taste. Serve in separate bowls, garnished with cream and fresh garden cress leaves.