Monday, September 1, 2008

W is for Watercress!

Today dear readers, is the 2nd day of spring! Woo! Stay tuned for recipes using spring vegetables. I hope you have enjoyed the recipes as much as I have :-)

I've not tried watercress recipes extensively, as I've found it hard to buy, particularly if you don't want to go to big supermarkets. If you can't find it and would like to try these recipes, I'd substitute salad greens of your choice.

Goat's Cheese and Watercress Quiche


  • 225g gluten-free flour , plus extra for rolling
  • 100g butter
  • 1 large egg , beaten, plus extra beaten egg for brushing


  • 1 medium onion , finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 100g watercress , roughly chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150ml milk
  • 150ml log soft rindless goat's cheese , in rough chunks
  • freshly grated nutmeg , optional


  1. Put the flour and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the egg and about 1-2 tbsp water to form a soft dough. Knead well then wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C. Knead the pastry again and roll it out to line a 20cm loose-bottomed flan tin (the pastry won't shrink, so no need to chill). Patch holes with spare pastry and brush the base and sides with egg.
  3. For the filling, fry the onion in the oil until just soft, add the watercress and cook until just wilted. Beat the eggs and milk and stir in the watercress mixture and goat's cheese.
  4. Season and if you like, add a pinch of nutmeg. Put the flan tin on a bakingsheet and bake the pastry blind for 5 minutes. Add the filling and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 180C/gas 4/ fan 160C and cook for 25-30 minutes or until lightly set

Watercress and Pinenut Mayonnaise


  • 1 bunch of watercress
  • 1 cup of fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup of cream
  • 2 tbsp of toasted pine nuts
  • 3 tbsp of plain mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper


Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Pick all the leaves from a bunch of watercress. Together with a cup of fresh parsley leaves, throw the watercress in the boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain well and mix the blanched leaves with 1/4 cup of cream. Puree and pass through a sieve.

Place in a saucepan and boil gently until only about 3 tablespoons of green paste is left. Puree 2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts and add to the paste. Stir in 3 tablespoons plain mayonnaise and season.

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