Spice Rack: Land Cress
Cousin to the better-known watercress, this peppery plant is no second fiddle when it comes to flavor.
Also known as: American cress, cassabully, early yellowrocket, treacle mustard, upland cress
Description: Similar in appearance to its better-known (and less pungent) aquatic cousin, watercress, land cress is a biennial herb that grows in almost any soil—provided it’s cool and damp—and can even flourish indoors (kitchen gardeners take note). As a member of the mustard family, land cress has a peppery bite and heat not far off from horseradish. The glossy green leaves resemble curled parsley and are often used in soups, salads, egg dishes, and sandwiches (especially tea sandwiches).
Regional Use: Travel south of the Mason-Dixon line, and you’ll find land cress is known as creasy greens or creasies, and the whole plant is often stewed with ham hocks.
Pair With: Cress complements buttermilk, cucumber, egg, goat cheese, mushrooms, potatoes, rice, roasted meats, tofu, tomatoes, and yogurt.