Root Source: Watercress
what you should know
aqua vitae Even better-better? With few calories and high levels of vitamin C, beta-carotene and other minerals, watercress is an indisputable superfood.
who you callin' garnish? One of the oldest known edible greens, watercress is a popular garnish in Europe. In Great Britain, a recent PR campaign reminded consumers -- with the help of a nude model -- that watercress is "Not Just a Bit on the Side."
G8 With beets, celery, carrots, lettuce, parsley, spinach and tomatoes, watercress is the eighth ingredient in the classic vegetable drink, V-8.
what you need
A little too large to shake out like an herb, watercress dries quickly in a salad spinner.
Alice Waters' Chez Panisse Vegetables cookbook has a whole section on the cresses.
what you do
This steak sandwich with watercress, fontina, and roasted red peppers perfectly melds together contrasting flavors and textures.
As a salad base, watercress lends more character than a traditional lettuce, especially in sweet-and-sour mixes such as hogwash's cress and fruit salad with grapefruit-verjus vinaigrette.
Featured recipe: For a different take on the classic tea sandwich, try the watercress sandwich with chili and lime butter from A Veggie Venture. It's the featured recipe for this week's Root Source Challenge.