Hemsley & Hemsley love watercress
Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley are home cooks and food lovers with a passion for living well and enjoying delicious, nutrient-dense food. Their cooking is all about creating natural, satisfying and easy to digest meals that make you feel vibrant, strong and healthy; recipes that are full of flavour and goodness - basically a plethora of the original 'meat and two veg' meals that are gluten, grain and refined sugar free alternatives to daily staples but still full of healthy fats and tasty well sourced ingredients and produce. They believe in the nourishing power of real food and that eating well and cooking from scratch can be easy, affordable and enjoyable for everyone. No wonder they love watercress!
Two very popular recipes of theirs feature watercress - a mouthwatering take on a classic - watercress soup with brazil nut cream and a fabulous watercress salsa that can be served with anything from fish to eggs, to lamb chops.
50g parsley leaves
50g mint leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
4 fillets of anchovies
1 large clove of garlic
50g of capers
1 tsp of Dijon mustard
300ml extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
8 lamb chops, fat on
Sea salt and pepper
1. Roughly chop the watercress and herbs, then pulse with the rest of the salsa verde ingredients in a food processor or finely chop with a sharp knife to make a chunky sauce. Season to taste and set aside.
2. Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper and cook under a preheated grill for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how thick they are and how rare you like them. Turn once and cook until golden and the fat is crispy. Test by piercing the chops in the centre with a sharp knife and checking the colour.
3. Meanwhile prepare the sides – steam some broccoli, green beans or cabbage in a little water, lid on for about 5 minutes, then lightly season.
4. When the lamb is ready, leave to rest for 5 minutes before plating up with the vegetables and spooning over a generous amount of the watercress salsa verde.
The Watercress Salsa Verde even appeared on This Morning when Melissa and Jasmine demonstrated how to make it as part of a delicious spiced roast chicken thigh recipe - nutritious, healthy and low fat.
Watercress is a go-to ingredient for the Hemsleys as is evident from their various social media posts!
Why do the Hemsley Sisters love watercress?
They believe that what you eat, how you care for your body and the way you feel are intrinsically linked. This includes the importance of good digestion, from the virtues of thoroughly chewing to the importance of natural probiotic foods. Watercress is an aid to digestion and gut health due to the high content of polyphenol antioxidants, especially Flavanoids, and fibre and so is a perfect ingredient for the sisters
The Hemsleys like to use ingredients that are nutritious, delicious and sustainable. Watercress ticks all three boxes. Containing over 50 vital minerals and vitamins and gram for gram more vitamin C than oranges, more calcium than milk, more folate than bananas and more vitamin E than broccoli, you can’t get much more nutritious than watercress. While its peppery flavour may be loved by some and loathed by others, there’s no mistaking the Hemsleys fall into the former camp and regularly use watercress as a tasty addition to recipes such as Black Bean & Avocado Salad which despite the name includes a hefty portion of watercress. Finally, because watercress is grown in flowing spring water it is produced in a highly sustainable way. There is no degradation of the soil as you get with many land crops and the water simply continues on its way to the rivers and streams around the farms adding vital nutrients and minerals to the watercress and the waterways. The watercress beds are also a haven for insects and water-born creatures which in turn attract rare birds and bats to live nearby
Ease is a key factor in Hemsley sister cooking and what could be easier to cook with than watercress? Perfect eaten raw in a fabulously tasty fresh salad like the Autumnal Salad with Apple, Cobnuts & Stilton, or simply scattered over a warm dish to add a healthy, flavour-some bite as in this Spring Quinoa Risotto. Try wilting some watercress into pasta or simply blend it into an easy, healthy smoothie like the Go to Green Smoothie
As children, Jasmine and Melissa remember enjoying ‘big soups’ as part of the family food tradition, inspired by their mum who was born in the Philippines. What makes a classic, comforting soup? Watercress of course and the Hemsleys enjoy their own take with their Watercress Soup with brazil nut cream
The Hemsleys cook with seasonal ingredients. Watercress is in season in the UK from May to November, and even celebrates the start of the season with an annual festival. The Alresford Watercress Festival takes place the third Sunday of May every year and is a slightly eccentric and very British celebration of all things watercress! Enjoy the freshest possible watercress, freshly harvested from the beds surrounding Alresford, the Capital of Watercress and which is dispensed free to the crowds by the newly crowned King & Queen of Watercress. Sample an awe inspiring range of products made using watercress on the many food stalls lining the streets, and watch cookery demos showing the remarkable versatility of this peppery leaf. If that’s not enough, have a go at claiming the title of World Watercress Eating Champion by eating 85g of watercress in the fastest time.
To learn more about the Hemsley sisters philosophy to food and for more fantastic recipes visit their website.