I have harvested fresh watercress from stream beds — and then enjoyed its pungent taste raw. I’ve also mastered the technique of flash frying watercress in a wok. It turns a splendid emerald that some would call jade.
I found the following delightful bit of lore in Bert Greene’s Greene on Greens.
WATERCRESS can scarcely be dubbed a “garden green” since it requires a babbling brook or a small stream close by to feed its thirsty roots. Watercress thrives best in the shade, a fact that has given it something of a bad name in the past. There was a theory (held by all Puritan diners) that since this plant was grown in the darkness it was a living example of deviltry, “and no consumer of its leaves would profit with good health lest it was mingled with foodstuffs harvested in pure sunlight.” Which may explain in part why a stalk of watercress hardly ever arrives on a salad plate without a leaf of lettuce nearby!
I don’t know about serving watercress with lettuce but I do like mine served sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds — my touch of the sun.
And so for day 1560