Though watercress has become a familiar green to many, there is no better example of it than wild, freshly foraged, springtime watercress. Typically found in shallow streams with relatively low acidity, watercress grows in both sun and shade throughout the year, but winter cold will thin the easily foragable herd, while summer heat will increase the leaves’ bitterness. Springtime is therefore the sweet spot for watercress, and these wild-foraged bunches from the Pacific Northwest prove it, with a strongly spicy and crisp flavor profile that evokes its mustard-family roots with aplomb.
Watercress is versatile and hardy enough that it can now be found all over the world, but it is native to Europe and Asia. East and South Asian cuisines abound with creative, tasteful ways to incorporate watercress into recipes, and we would enthusiastically encourage trying this particularly pungent example in a stir fry with any of our live seafood. Of course, if seeking something simpler, watercress is a lovely salad green, or a fantastic finishing touch for a peppery accent to crusty bread with crumbly cheese and honey.
Pacific Northwest, United States