What Does Watercress Taste Like? Does Watercress Taste Good?

In this article, you will know the answer to the query “What Does Watercress Taste Like?“.

In salads and cooking, watercress has long been used as a peppery, leafy green vegetable.

Since ancient times, it has been grown in Greece.

Due to its ability to be harvested year-round in cooler climates, this was one of the few vegetables to spread across Europe during medieval times.

In this blog post, I’ll explain what watercress tastes like and how you can use it to create your tasty dish.

What is Watercress?

For centuries, watercress has been used to prevent scurvy in Asia and Europe because of its small, dark-green, curly leaves.

This plant belongs to the Brassicaceae family, which also includes cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and mustard.

Temperate zones are where this vegetable grows, and it is found in the water of streams.

Raw watercress is delicious in salads, sandwiches, and other dishes. Pesto sauces often contain watercress.

You can grow watercress at home using potting soil and seeds from a nursery or garden center.

The most common way to eat watercress is raw, as a salad ingredient or garnish. Salads made with watercress leaves can be added directly to salads made with other ingredients, or watercress leaves can be chopped finely and added to meat or fish fillet sandwiches.

Health Benefits of Eating Watercress

Watercress is often seen as merely a decorative vegetable.

In addition to its attractive appearance, watercress offers several health benefits, making it a must-have addition to your diet.

As beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body, watercress contains high levels of it.

Skin cells and mucous membranes benefit from this essential nutrient.

Sulforaphane is found in high levels in all cruciferous vegetables, which protects cells from oxidative stress (damage).

It contains folate, which helps promote DNA replication during cell division. A folate-rich diet may reduce the risk of birth defects or intrauterine growth restriction, both of which are serious complications of pregnancy.

Dietary nitrates are also present. Nitric oxide is the body’s natural vasodilator, which helps lower blood pressure as nitrates are converted into it.

Its antioxidant content helps reduce inflammation in the body and oxidative stress.

Watercress may also provide a significant amount of vitamin K, which is good for strengthening bones and preventing bone loss.

Children and adults alike will benefit from the presence of vitamins A, C, and E in this toothpaste.

In conclusion, watercress provides our body with vitamin and mineral essentials.

What Does Watercress Taste Like? Does Watercress Taste Good?

The unique taste and texture of watercress make it a great way to get a daily dose of greens.

It’s mild enough not to overpower other flavors in a dish while having a distinctive freshness you’ll love if you’ve never cooked with watercress before.

Salads will feel fresh with their crunchy texture. The peppery flavor combines with the sweetness to provide a delicate peppery taste.

Also, watercress can be used to enrich cooked dishes like omelets and pasta sauces with flavor and texture.

The watercress family of vegetables includes both herbs and vegetables. Unlike other members of the mustard family, it has a milder flavor when eaten raw.

As watercress cooks, it acquires a more tangy flavor resembling cabbage.

Among its uses are stir-fries, stews, and casseroles. Plants that are older and larger taste more bitter and peppery than their younger cousins.

What Tastes Similar to Watercress?

Salads often include watercress, which is a tasty vegetable.

The grocery store often doesn’t carry watercress, and when it does, it’s not cheap.

Watercress is not the only vegetable out there that tastes like it.

This substitute will do the trick if you’re craving zingy flavors in your salad but don’t have them on hand.

To enhance the flavor of your salad, use other leafy greens such as kale, mixed lettuces, or arugula.

Besides nutrient-rich minerals like magnesium and potassium, they also contain vitamin K.

Peppery flavors are also present in a lot of vegetables.

It might be worthwhile to add tomatoes, dill, cilantro, or watermelon radish (daikon).

Use chives instead of watercress since they have a similar flavor and are easier to find.

How Do You Prepare Watercress to Eat?

Watercress can be prepared in various ways depending on how it will be consumed.

You should remove yellowing leaves from your watercress to keep it fresh. Cooking should be stopped immediately if brown or wilted stems are present.

Raw leaves can be used in salads or sandwiches if they are washed thoroughly with cold water before adding them to the dish.

As a result, the leaves will taste fresh and be free of dirt or residue.

You should trim one inch from the bottom of each stem before washing the watercress and cook it in salted boiling water for three minutes unless the recipe specifies otherwise.

Let’s say they are not going to be eaten immediately.

Likewise, they should be cooled immediately after being removed from their cooking liquid with cold running water, since hot food promotes bacterial growth exponentially faster than cold food.

How to Cook and Use Watercress in Recipes?

During winter months, fresh watercress was often served because its vitamin content was thought to protect against illnesses like scurvy caused by a lack of fruits and vegetables.

During long marches through Northern Europe, British soldiers have been eating these leafy greens for centuries in salads and sandwiches.

Celebs like Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow have recently touted their health benefits, which have made them popular around the world.

Watercress can be used in a variety of ways, but here are some tips on how to cook and use it in recipes.

  • To add a peppery kick to sandwich or burger fillings, salads, or quiches, use fresh or dried chives. Put baby spinach or watercress on the bun instead of lettuce; you’ll get the peppery kick without sacrificing crunch.
  • Garlic and ginger root are sautéed until soft, then added soy sauce to make an Asian-style stew
  • Once the pasta is drained, add the bacon, pasta noodles, and Parmesan cheese.
  • Add it to soups with onions, garlic, and vegetable stock, such as watercress soup.
  • Because soup is hearty enough for winter and doesn’t require much cooking time, watercress is a perfect ingredient for soup. A delicious low-calorie meal can be made by adding onion, garlic, and vegetable stock.

Tips on Buying and Store Watercress

You can buy fresh or frozen watercress.

To select the best watercress, you must first know how to select it.

You can also find watercress in the produce section of grocery stores together with spinach, kale, Swiss chard, collards, and cabbage.

The fact is that some people buy old and wilted watercress stalks instead of crisp ones.

You might buy watercress rather than any other kind of green, such as spinach or kale.

Kale can be distinguished by its bumpy leaves, while spinach only tends to have smooth ones.

The watercress shouldn’t appear bright green when it has sat for too long if it doesn’t have a bright green color.

A scented bunch should be dark green, perky, and have a fresh scent.

If the watercress leaves are yellow or wilted, slimy, or smell unpleasant, do not use them.

As well as evaluating leaf sizes, it’s important to identify bunches with many variations in leaf size and uniformity.

After choosing your watercress, you will need to store it in an airtight container filled with damp paper towels. 

Close the container tightly after adding a splash of water. Vegetables can be stored in the refrigerator for five to seven days.


A salad or fresh vegetable dish would be incomplete without watercress.

The watercress is very mild in taste. Its tartness is made more enjoyable by its slightly peppery taste.

Cancer-fighting properties of this substance help to prevent the development of certain cancers or maintain healthy cells.

So go ahead and add it to your dish next time you’re in search of a new green vegetable.

If you want to read more about cooking, read here: Cooking Tips and Tricks.

Ayub Khan

Ayub Khan is an accomplished culinary author with a passion for cooking and 6 years of experience. His creative ideas and valuable tips inspire readers to explore new flavors and take their culinary skills to the next level.

Rehmat Dietitian

Rehmat is a certified food dietitian having experience of 10 years in reviewing and practicing on foods different aspects.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button