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How to Cook Watercress

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How to Cook Watercress
A close-up of fresh watercress. Photo Credit: mitrs3/iStock/Getty Images

Watercress is in the same family as mustard and cabbage,with a somewhat bitter, peppery taste. The vegetable is full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. A serving has more iron than spinach and provides 312 percent of your daily vitamin K requirements, according to Food Facts. It also contains lutein, vitamin A, manganese and vitamin C. Three cups of watercress have 11 calories, 1 gram of carbohydrates and 2 grams of protein. You can easily serve raw watercress in a salad, sandwich or smoothie, but you can also steam or saute the plant.

Prepping the Plant

Step 1

Prepare the watercress for use, if you have bunches still attached to the roots instead of a bag of ready-to-use watercress.

Step 2

Wash the watercress in cold water.

Step 3

Trim off the stems with a kitchen knife.

Step 4

Dry the watercress leaves with a paper towel or put in a salad spinner to remove the excess moisture.

Steamed

Step 1

Follow the directions for your steamer. If you're using a pot with a steamer insert or metal colander, fill it with enough water to just touch the bottom of the insert or colander.

Step 2

Bring the water to a boil over high heat.

Step 3

Add the watercress to the steamer, insert or colander, depending on your equipment. Reduce to medium heat and cover the steamer or pot to keep in the steam.

Step 4

Steam watercress for approximately one minute, just until the leaves wilt. Season to taste with salt, pepper or other preferred flavors.

Sauteed Watercress

Step 1

Heat oil in a dry skillet on medium heat.

Step 2

Add watercress to the heated oil and stir with a spatula or cooking spoon.

Step 3

Continue to toss the watercress in the skillet for 45 seconds or more until the leaves wilt and the stems are tender-crisp. Serve immediately.

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