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Video: Watercress - Grow On A Windowsill
Watercress or watercress (Nasturtium officinale), growing on a windowsill, recipes
Alas, growing greenery in our apartments in winter is not easy at all. And if we also remember about the seedlings, which need to be grown in the same period, and take into account the interests of indoor flowers, then it becomes clear that sometimes we often have no time for greenery. And for the most part, like other plants, it is also photophilous, but with the extra light space we have just constant problems, more precisely, there is only one problem - this very space is simply not enough.
That is why it is worth paying attention to such a plant as watercress, which develops literally "at the speed of light". It reaches a height of 30-90 cm and is perfect for salads and as a seasoning for meat, fish and other dishes - they use leaves, stems and tops of young shoots. Their taste is spicy, mustard. Until recently, little was known about this plant. Meanwhile, watercress is a promising crop and is a perennial, rapidly growing plant of the cabbage family. It has long been cultivated as a vegetable crop in the countries of Western Europe, Asia and America, and it succeeds both in open and in protected ground.
Watercress was introduced into the culture in the 19th century, first in England, and then in other countries. Raw leaves and tops of young shoots are eaten, which have a sharp mustard taste, improve appetite and contain many vitamins. In terms of beta-carotene and other vitamins, watercress is superior to celery and onions, and is not inferior to parsley. The plant also contains essential oil (0.42 mg), iodine, rich in minerals, especially phosphorus.
Why is watercress useful?
Watercress is found in many countries of Europe and Asia, and also grows in America, where it was brought by European settlers. Wild watercress has been used as a vegetable crop since ancient times. And not so much because of its pleasant taste, but because of its benefits. This green herb has long been praised for its medicinal qualities, and it will be especially useful in the winter and spring period.
In ancient Rome, it was believed that watercress greens, used together with vinegar, soothed and healed people with a dull mind. In China, it is used to lower blood pressure and as a laxative. The Irish are particularly strong in the health benefits of watercress, citing the legend that many of their preachers ate watercress and dry bread all their lives and stayed healthy. Watercress is also known as an antiscorbutic, diuretic, expectorant, tonic, blood purifier. The plant is useful for obesity and diabetes.
In terms of vitamin C content, this type of salad is 2-5 times superior to green onion leaves. Its special value is the content of a significant amount of iodine, the lack of which causes thyroid disease. In addition to vitamin C (up to 150 mg%), watercress contains iodine, up to 0.45 mg per 1 kg of dry matter, as well as iron, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and copper. Watercress sap is exceptionally rich in sulfur, accounting for more than one third of all the mineral elements and salts of watercress combined. Acids (including sulfur, phosphorus and chlorine) form about 45% of the elements in watercress. Since this juice is a powerful intestinal cleanser, it should never be consumed alone, but only mixed with other juices such as carrot or celery.
A mixture of carrot juice with spinach juice and a small amount of watercress and turnip leaf juice contains substances necessary for normal blood restoration and especially to improve its oxygen supply. For anemia, low blood pressure and thinness, this mixture is an excellent nutrition. A mixture of carrot juice, spinach, turnip leaves and watercress has the ability to dissolve clotted blood fibrin in hemorrhoids or hemorrhoids and many types of tumors.
Drinking one liter of this mixture daily, with complete exclusion from the diet of flour, meat products and sugar, brought the body back to normal for one to six months in a natural way. In the case of surgery, the recovery process may take longer.
Watercress juice is a valuable addition to carrot, parsley and potato juices in the treatment of emphysema. In this mixture of juices, the predominance of phosphorus and chlorine is of particular value.
Outdoors. In theory, watercress is cultivated in the same way as rice, but only in running water. Soil preparation consists of leveling the surface, cutting water supply and drainage ditches and filling watersheds. Where the watercress does not form seeds, it is propagated vegetatively by planting young plants. At first, they are kept with some green crops in running water for 4 days, then the water is removed for 3 days, but the soil should be waterlogged. Only after that, every 4-5 days, the plants are left for 1-2 days without running water, which is also removed overnight. In general, for us who do not know how to grow rice, this is a rather complicated technology.
Watercress can also be cultivated outdoors with abundant irrigation in areas located in depressions, near water bodies, on marshy soils. In particular, there are such recommendations: to grow watercress, dig a trench 60 cm wide and 30 cm deep.At its bottom, lay a 15 cm layer of organic fertilizers: rotted manure, garden compost or peat. This helps to accumulate moisture in the garden. Pour a layer of earth 7-10 cm thick on top, in which to plant the cuttings that have given roots. And then water regularly and very abundantly.
Indoors. The disadvantage of the technology for cultivating watercress in running water is that a significant proportion of the mineral fertilizer is washed off the ridges within 12 hours. Therefore, France and England have long developed a new watercress agricultural technology that requires little water - hydroponic culture. Its implementation is also possible in protected ground conditions - both in industrial greenhouses and simply in indoor conditions. When grown in greenhouses in hydroponics in industrial greenhouses, for example, 6-8 cuts of watercress greens are obtained per year (2.5 kg per 1 m2 for each cut).
It is not difficult to build a hydroponic structure at home - just take a wide container (an ordinary plastic basin is perfect, preferably a rectangular one) and fill it two-thirds with moss. Moss is periodically moistened with a prepared nutrient solution based on, for example, Ideal or other similar fertilizer. Planting plants is carried out directly into the moss as densely as possible - and soon you will have a real lawn with tasty and healthy watercress.
Reproduction of watercress
The watercress is propagated mainly by petioles about 15 cm long - the surface of the plant is devoid of hairy cover, when it comes into contact with soil or water, it forms roots. Or you can simply cut the cuttings and put them in a glass of water, half or one-third filled with water. After 7-10 days, roots appear.
Culinary Recipes from Watercress
Watercress greens are used in food mainly fresh in salads, and also as an addition to sandwiches with ham, fish and cheese. It makes an excellent side dish for game. The ancient Romans prepared peppercorns. The French made a delicious green Potage cressonier soup with cress and potatoes. In China, where the plant's name means "western water vegetable", watercress is made into soups, but it is never served fresh. The whole plant greens (leaves and stems) are allowed for food. Delicious sandwiches with ham, fish or cheese, covered with watercress greens, are obtained. Chopped greens are added to soups or used as a side dish to the second meat and fish dishes.
Puree soup with potatoes and watercress
Heat 1 tbsp in a saucepan. spoon olive oil and fry 2 handfuls of chopped chives for 1-2 minutes with salt and pepper. Add 300 g of finished mashed potatoes, 1/2 seeded and finely chopped chili and 400 ml of chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and add 2-3 handfuls of watercress. Whisk in a food processor. Return to saucepan, reheat and season to taste. Serve garnished with chives.
Green cress sauce
Boil 300 ml heavy cream with 1 finely chopped shallot and cook until the mixture is 1/3. Fry a handful of watercress in 25 g of butter and add to the cream. You can dilute the sauce by adding boiling milk if you like. Season to taste and drizzle with lemon juice. Whisk in a food processor if desired.
Watercress and orange salad
Grate the zest of 2 oranges on a fine grater, then peel them with a sharp knife, cutting off all the white rind. Use a knife to cut wedges between the films and place them all in a bowl along with the juice that will drip while you cut the orange. Make a dressing by mixing 2 tbsp. tablespoons of olive oil with 1 tbsp. a spoonful of orange juice, grated zest, a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper. Toss the bunch of cress with the dressing and sprinkle the mixture over the orange wedges.
Fried salmon with watercress sauce
Beat up 110 ml of wine vinegar, 55 g of vegetable oil and 55 g of cress. Set aside for a while so that the dressing is infused. Grease 2 pieces of salmon fillet, 200 g each, with vegetable oil, season. Fry on both sides in a hot skillet. Place a pile of watercress in the middle of the plate and a piece of salmon on top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (2 tablespoons) and pour over the dressing.
Cucumber soup with watercress
Melt 55 g butter, add 2 bunches of chopped green onions and 1 large cucumber, seeded and finely chopped. Cook until soft and add 2 bunches of cress, salt and pepper. Add 1 liter of water or weak broth. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Whisk and serve either warm with sour cream or cold.
Sauté half a finely chopped red onion in butter in a saucepan for 2 minutes, add 2 finely chopped garlic cloves and cook for another 2 minutes. Pour in 290 ml of vegetable broth, 4 tbsp. tablespoons of cream and 4 tbsp. spoons of milk. Season to taste and cook for 2 minutes. Add half the bunch of watercress before whisking the soup in a food processor. Serve the soup, garnished with a sprig of mint.
Cress and Pumpkin Seed Salad
In a salad bowl, beat the juice of half a lemon with 1 tbsp. spoon of olive oil. Add 1 bunch of watercress, 3 finely grated carrots and mix. Rub 2 boiled eggs on top. Then heat a drop of vegetable oil in a frying pan, add 1 tbsp. spoon of pumpkin seeds, fry for a couple of minutes, add 1 tsp. honey and remove from heat. Sprinkle the seeds over the salad and serve.
Cauliflower, cress and egg salad
Steam the head of cauliflower, broken into inflorescences, for 4 minutes. Boil 3 eggs, cool and cut lengthwise into wedges. Stir in cabbage, eggs and 2 bunches of watercress, adding 4 tbsp. spoons of vinaigrette dressing, and serve.
Trout stuffed with watercress
Finely chop 2 bunches of watercress, mix it with 100 g of cottage cheese, 1 tbsp. a spoonful of horseradish, 1 raw egg and seasonings. Stuff 4 large boneless trout with the mixture and wrap each fish in a large sheet of oiled foil. Bake in the oven at 1800C for 20 minutes, until the fish breaks open easily with a fork.
Sandwiches with cheese, shrimps and watercress
Mix 75 g of cream cheese and 59 g of peeled and chopped shrimp, season to taste. Spread the filling on 4 slices of bread, sprinkle heavily with watercress, cover with 4 slices of bread. Cut off the crusts and cut the sandwiches into 4 pieces diagonally to form triangles.