Cress: plant, harvest, decorate and enjoy
Almost like magic: watching cress grow is fascinating. You distribute cress seeds on a nutrient medium, supply them with water and in a few days kitchen herbs are formed from the cress seeds. As a culinary herb, cress has a lot to offer: it provides a wide variety of flavors and is also suitable for decorating the kitchen and food.
I had my first encounter with cress in elementary school when a cotton ball, cress seeds and water were enough to grow plants that could still be eaten – the absolute madness in my children’s eyes. After the initial euphoria, it took a few years for me to rediscover cress. This time, however, it was more about the enjoyment that I associated with the sprouts. And you can confidently capitalize it, as diverse as cress can taste and be planted.
Cress seeds + pretty bowls = decoration for the kitchen
Let’s start with planting and decorating, because both are possible at the same time: You can use any container to let the cress seeds sprout in it. The best known are flat bowls for growing cress. These are also available in a variety of forms, as our following favorites show.
If you use cotton wool for the cress seeds in your garden cress, you must harvest the sprouts quickly. At some point the cress will die because the cotton wool does not contain any nutrients. The seeds contain enough nutrients to germinate – but that’s about it. Cotton has the advantage of storing water. In addition, you can harvest the sprouts of your cress neatly – with no earth crumbs in between. The longer you leave the cress, the more bland the taste.
Cress tastes slightly spicy and is reminiscent of mustard. But it can also taste like honey, anise or pepper. In addition to the well-known varieties of garden cress or nasturtium, there are many more varieties that can surprise you with their wide variety of flavors. We give you an overview of varieties such as watercress and garden cress.
The garden cress: fine spice
Garden cress is often used as a spice. You can buy them in a small bed or sow them yourself. The small, tender seedlings can be harvested after about a week. This type of cress tastes slightly hot of mustard because it contains mustard oil. It goes well with cream cheese, curd and egg dishes, but also tastes great as a pesto.
The winter cress: wild growth on the plate
Wintercress mainly grows in fields and can be found well into winter. You can use this cress like garden cress or watercress as a spice or steamed like eating spinach. This cress is a wonderful addition to fish dishes. The cress can be sown in spring or autumn.
The watercress: the rare cress
The watercress is a rarely found spice and is not easily available in stores. You can find them in flowing waters and ponds. The watercress prefers sunny and partially shaded places. This cress is available from the gardener. It is difficult to pull on the balcony. It would be better to plant the watercress on a nearby stream or pond nearby. In addition to the real watercress, you will also find false ones, the so-called foam herb or bitter cress, which is also edible.
The nasturtium: the pretty candidate
Nasturtium is a pretty ornamental and edible plant, from which the leaves as well as the bright beautiful flowers are edible. These are used fresh and have a peppery taste. They should not be frozen or dried, as the delicate leaves of this cress will crumble and lose their aroma. However, you can put them in oil.
The Honey cress variety: cress that surprises
There is also cress that surprises with an unexpected taste. For example the “honey cress”: This cress is sweet and tastes of honey. The honey cress is suitable for desserts or to spice up cheese such as baked goat cheese. You should definitely have tried it!
Cress: The variety Sechuan cress
Sechuan cress, like the Sechuan flower, is a little electrifying. However not as strong as the Sechuan flower. Sechuan cress creates a pleasantly tingling sensation on the tongue. However, you should warn your guests. This cress makes dishes not only a taste experience, but also a feeling experience. However, the taste buds are a little numb afterwards, so you shouldn’t necessarily put the experience with this cress at the beginning of a menu, of which you then no longer have as much.
Cress: The variety Limon cress
Also interesting is a cress that tastes of anise and lime: the limon cress. Recipes with fish can be refined with it. However, you could use real lime and anise or fennel seeds as well. However, it is a much bigger surprise when a green leaf tastes so unexpectedly aromatic – it is worth testing.