Not bitter, and not that hairy either

hairy bitter cress

Hairy bitter cress can be identified by its rosette of leaves and out of focus flowers and seed pods

…so I’m not quite sure why Hairy Bitter Cress got its name.  It is, however, very cress-like.

One of the better discoveries thanks to yet another River Cottage Book (on Hedgerows this time) is that you can eat that scrappy ungainly weed with the half-arsed flowers which seems to pop up all over the place. 

Unlike many supposedly edible greens this one really is quite tasty, but only as tasty as cress – so if that doesn’t float your boat…

The upside is that its another ‘win’ while weeding.  The downside is that its a bit of a fidge to prepare. You’re after the leaves and a smaller plant may only have a couple that are worth having. 

egg and cress sarnie

So… for what its worth.  Its a thumbs up for hairy bitter cress if you happen to be weeding and don’t mind a bit of a faff.  It tastes just like cress.  But if you don’t happen to have a handful to hand, cress is an easier and only marginally more expensive option. 

Top tip.  These kind of greens don’t take long to look sad and wilty.  Cheer them up by washing them and putting them in a sealed tupperware box with a little water at the bottom of the fridge overnight.  They’ll thank you by reappearing super crisp and green!

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