What seasonal produce should you be eating this May?
At Create, we believe in cooking with seasonal and fresh ingredients. You’ll get extra flavour, extra crunch and extra juiciness in all your dishes. Stick to nature’s bounty and you’ll get the added benefit of nutrients tailor-made for the time of year.
For us, May means Watercress
Don’t let your memories of bland watercress soups of yesteryear put you off this delightful ingredient. Watercress is a great alternative to rocket with a smooth and peppery taste. Rich in vitamin C calcium, iron and folic acid, not only is this leaf delicious but it’s good for you, improving kidney and liver function.
Watercress is perfect in salads and garnishes, but is just as delicious in omelettes and soup.
Create’s Top Tips for Cooking Watercress
We would always encourage you to head to your local farmers market but we know that it’s always practical with a busy working life. When buying watercress look for crisp, dark leaves without any signs of yellowing or wilting.
Watercress, like any salad leaf, has a short shelf life so should always be eaten withing a day or two or purchase.
Here is a collection on our favourite recipes, using this hero ingredient.
WATERCRESS AND PEA SOUP
A firm favourite of ours, this recipe shows off the full flavour of this leaf. The peas,with a hint of mint, and garnished with radish add a vibrant freshness to this light, summery dish.
1 large bunch of watercress (or a standard size supermarket bag)
400g of petit pois, fresh or frozen
800ml of vegetable stock
2 tbsp of groundnut or rapeseed oil
1 large onion
1 bunch of fresh mint, roughly chopped
Thinly sliced radishes and mixed seeds to garnish
Roughly chop the watercress, stalks and all, and place in a small saucepan with the stock. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and set aside to infuse
Heat the oil in a large saucepan add the onion, finely diced. Cook on a low heat until softened and clear but not coloured. Add the potato, cubed (roughly 1cm cubed), stir and cook until soft. Add the mint, pea, infused stock and watercress. Simmer for a further two minutes.
Place the soup in a blender and purée
Return the soup to the saucepan and season to taste
Serve warm garnished with the radishes and seeds for crunch. Add a swirl of sour cream or croutons too if you like.
ROASTED SEA TROUT WITH WATERCRESS AND SALT BAKED JERSEY ROYALS
Our hero ingredient from April, Wild Sea Trout, is still very much in season this month and does perfectly with the peppery flavour of watercress.
2 Sea Trout fillets
500g Jersey royal potatoes
500g fine salt (for salt bake)
60g caster sugar
1 banana shallot
125ml dry white wine
2tbs tarragon vinegar
250g butter (cubed)
Mix the sugar and 40g salt together, sprinkle over the fish and leave to cure in the fridge for 20 minutes
Whist the fish is curing, wash the potatoes, drain and pat dry
Prick holes in the potatoes using a fork and then add them to a bowl and toss with some extra virgin olive oil
Cover the surface area of a tray with the fine salt so it’s about a 2/3mm deep (you may not need to use all the salt)
Place the potatoes onto the salt and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 25-35 minutes or until cooked through
Once cooked, remove from the salted tray.
Heat a little more oil in a pan and add in the potatoes a few at a time so as to not overcrowd the pan
As they cook push them down with a flat spatula so they split and flatten a little. Cook until golden on each side
Add to bowl with a good amount of butter and a good pinch of Maldon salt and gently fold together until evenly coated
Once the fish cured, wash off the sugar and salt mixture and and pat the fish dry
Drizzle the fish skin with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper
Place the fish, skin side up on a baking tray lined with parchment and roast in a preheated oven at 200C for 20 minutes or until cooked through and the skin is crispy
While the fish is in the oven, add the finely chopped shallot, vinegar and wine to a pan. Simmer and reduce the liquid by 3/4
Pass the mixture through a sieve, return to a clean pan and bring up to a simmer
Add the butter, a couple of cubes at a time and whisk in to emulsion until all of the butter is incorporated
Remove the fish from the oven and place on a serving platter
Place the watercress over the top of the fish and pour over the hot beurre blanc, which will lightly cook the leaves
Serve with the jersey royal potatoes
Let us know how it goes by tweeting @Createfood, we’d love to see what you make!