Lucky you live Hawaii when it comes to watercress – ours is the tastiest kind around, crisp and tender with a peppery snap!
The majority of the watercress in our markets is grown by Sumida Farm, the green patch of heaven located just below sprawling Pearlridge Shopping Center along Kamehameha Highway. The Sumida family has been growing watercress in Aiea since 1928.
Pure, cold natural spring water is the perfect growing medium for the dark, small-leafed watercress, bubbling up within the 10 acres of Sumida Farm. Hand-cut and harvested, the watercress is quickly vacuum chilled to preserve its freshness and extend shelf life.
Look for bright green leaves when purchasing watercress. Rinse it in a large bowl of water and spin or pat dry before refrigerating in a plastic bag. It will keep for several days, but use it sooner rather than later.
Watercress is terrific in a salad, by itself or with other greens. Use it in place of lettuce in a sandwich for a spicy crunch. Saute it, especially the stems, or use it in soups for great flavor. It’s a versatile green that’s good for you: Watercress is rich in vitamins A, C and B1, iron, potassium, phosphorus and calcium. It’s also a good source of fiber and lutein, which is good for the eyes.
Hawaii food writer Joan Namkoong offers a weekly tidbit on fresh seasonal products, many of them locally grown. Look for "Fresh Tips" every Wednesday in the Star-Advertiser.