When it comes to leafy greens, we often think of classics like spinach, kale, or lettuce. However, there's a lesser-known gem that deserves our attention: landcress. This nutritious and flavourful leafy green is often overlooked but offers a delightful addition to salads and other dishes. In this blog article, we'll explore the wonders of landcress, its health benefits, and ways to incorporate it into your culinary repertoire.
Landcress, also known as American cress or winter cress, is a leafy green vegetable that belongs to the Brassicaceae family. It features dark green, rounded leaves with a peppery and slightly tangy flavour. While it shares similarities with watercress, landcress has a milder taste, making it more versatile for various culinary applications.
Beyond its pleasant taste, landcress is packed with essential nutrients. It is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium, iron, and folate. Vitamin A supports healthy vision, while vitamin C boosts the immune system. Vitamin K plays a crucial role in blood clotting and bone health. Incorporating landcress into your meals allows you to enjoy these nutritional benefits and contribute to a well-rounded diet.
Culinary Uses and Tips
Landcress's versatility makes it a fantastic addition to salads, sandwiches, and soups. Its peppery flavour adds a delightful twist to dishes, giving them a subtle kick. When selecting landcress, look for fresh and vibrant leaves without any wilting. It's best to consume landcress soon after purchase to enjoy its optimal flavour and texture.
To incorporate landcress into your meals, try using it as a base for salads, combining it with other greens like spinach or arugula. Its mild spiciness pairs well with citrusy dressings or creamy avocado-based dressings. You can also sauté landcress with garlic and olive oil for a quick and nutritious side dish. Experiment with different flavour combinations to find your favourite way to enjoy this leafy green.
Landcress and New Potato Salad
- 1 pound (450g) new potatoes, washed and quartered
- 2 cups fresh landcress leaves, washed and trimmed
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add the quartered new potatoes and cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
- While the potatoes are cooking, prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes. This will help stop the cooking process and cool down the potatoes quickly.
- Drain the cooked potatoes and immediately transfer them to the ice bath. Let them sit for a few minutes to cool completely. Once cooled, drain the potatoes and set them aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the landcress leaves, sliced red onion, halved cherry tomatoes, and chopped fresh dill.
- Add the cooled new potatoes to the mixing bowl with the landcress mixture.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper until well combined. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.
- Pour the dressing over the landcress and potato mixture. Gently toss until all the ingredients are coated with the dressing.
- Allow the salad to sit for a few minutes to allow the flavours to meld together.
- Serve the landcress and new potato salad chilled or at room temperature as a refreshing side dish or a light lunch.
Note: You can customise this recipe by adding other ingredients such as sliced cucumbers, crumbled feta cheese, or toasted pine nuts for additional texture and flavour.
Enjoy the vibrant and fresh flavours of this landcress and new potato salad! It's a delightful way to incorporate nutritious greens into your meals while savouring the tender and creamy new potatoes.