Watercress – Nasturtium officinale

We’ve reached Burgos – one third complete.

Over the past 288 km we’ve walked across a wide spectrum of landscapes – forests, parks, vineyards, wheat fields, along busy roads, through small villages and sizeable cities. To witness the flora fluctuate with the changing character of the terrain is truly fascinating –  and it’s only spring!

One of the most meritable of consumable plants encountered thus far is the refreshingly snappy watercress, nasturtium officinale. A perennial plant in the Brassicaceae family (along with well-known garden vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, kale & mustard), this vivacious vegetation is fast growing, semi – aquatic, and quite the sight in the streams, ditches and dykes along the Camino. 

Not only does watercress provide a gorgeous green blanket for the eye to lay on, the leafy green also contains a wealth of nutrients such as iron, calcium, iodine, folic acid, and vitamins A and C.  It’s also a stimulant, diuretic, expectorant, digestive aid and a great source of phytochemicals and antioxidants – all superb comestible qualities for the hungry pilgrim on a tight budget.

WATERCRESS SALAD

There are many wonderful ways to utilise watercress, and we’ve come up with a simple, delicious salad with a zestful nip.

Remove leaves from stem & wash thoroughly.

Remove leaves from stem & wash thoroughly.

Cut large chunks of tomato & thinly slice onion.

Cut large chunks of tomato & thinly slice onion.

Add chopped garlic, salt & the juice of half a lemon. Lightly mix, let sit for 3 or so minutes.

Add chopped garlic, salt & the juice of half a lemon. Lightly mix, let sit for 3 or so minutes.

Drizzle with olive oil, gently mix & enjoy!

Drizzle with olive oil, gently mix & enjoy!

Buen Provecho!

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