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Humble garden cress is often relegated to the sidelines, but this fast-growing herb has been around since the Roman times, and with reason.
Commonly used as the ubiquitous garnish this peppery spice is just at home in the classic egg and cress sandwich despite boasting a long and regal history, a surprising number of health benefits and being incredibly easy to grow.
Garden cress is genetically related to watercress and mustard and shares their peppery, tangy flavour and aroma. In some regions, garden cress is known as mustard and cress, garden pepper cress, pepperwort, pepper grass, or poor man's pepper.
We discover a little more about why this is the small herb with Roman roots deserves a place in the kitchen.
How to grow garden cress
Garden cress grows very easily making it the perfect plant for inexperienced or impatient gardeners.
Germination from seeds can take place within 48 hours and you could be harvesting your first crop within 7 to 10 days. You can grow it on the window sills all year round or make a bigger crop growing it outside.
Learn how to grow cress here.
Garden Cress Recipes
Cress can put in an appearance in any number of dishes from salads and sandwiches to soups and even the seeds can be used to make dishes more interesting.
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Garden Cress Benefits
Garden cress is treated as a medicinal herb in India. And despite its dinky size, it makes up some impressive nutritional credentials containing many vitamins like Vitamin A and C and minerals like iron and calcium.
Garden Cress in Cooking
Cress can be used in salads, on sandwiches and added to soups, for its tangy flavour.
Try this mango salad with cress recipe from the Great British Chefs.
Egg Tart with Cress
Egg and cress are a tried and tested match made in heaven. Instead of getting stuck on egg sandwiches, try elevating your baking with this egg tart with cress.
Find the egg tart with cress recipe here.