A week at home from work is such a luxury. A week at home, not spent in airports, on an airplane, or even in a hotel, away from all the tasks I never seem to get accomplished while I am working.
Such as getting to lots of planned recipes, like this Super Green Watercress Pesto, and actually getting to photograph them when I have good mid-day natural light.
But there’s also those less-fun tasks, like finding a good grout cleaner for the tile in my bathroom.
And running to the hardware and tile stores to buy new props for photography. Driving in Kuala Lumpur has a way of ruining my day.
And then there’s the “to-do” list of workouts for the week- since my workouts get whittled down when I’m working 5 day weeks, I love challenging my body, and boosting my strength when I get these breaks. I create a list with tick boxes, and check them off as I go through the week. It’s really motivating, and I find it helps keep me focused when my mind might be leading me to do something else (like join friends for wine and dinner, or sit down to catch up on social media!). There will be time for those things, too!
Since learning what a powerhouse green watercress is (if you missed my Fatigue Fighting Baked Salmon in Watercress Sauce– read about it’s benefits here!), I’ve been remembering ways I’ve used it in the past, and brainstorming ways to work it into my weekly meal prep.
This pesto is a winner, for sure. Yesterday, Alex used it as a sandwich spread, I threw it on top of a salad, and then I used it for a pasta dish I’ll be sharing with you later!
I make pesto in my food processor so it can be really thick, full of healthy greens and nuts, and lighter on the olive oil than most. It’s not a “drippy” pesto, but stirs well into pastas, and makes a wonderful spread or dip. If you like to add more olive oil into your diet, by all means, add more!
Watercress tastes– green! It’s pretty peppery, which is why I usually use it mixed with other greens, or mixed into grains or vegetables, to mellow it out. The lemon juice and sweet pine nuts add more dimensions to the flavor, and we both really enjoyed the bitter green flavor. I also bought basil, and in a few days, when this runs out, I am going to make it again with half watercress and half basil. I am sure it will be just as wonderful. I would suggest trying this if you’re not sure you’ll appreciate the pepperiness of watercress, but still want to benefit from it’s superfood status.
To make the pesto, I mostly pulled the stems out, and just used the leaves. The smaller stems I held onto, and threw them into my juicer later on with some grapefruit, celery, and cucumber.
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 4 cups loosely packed watercress leaves (separated from stems)
- 1/3 cup shredded parmesan
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Add the garlic and pine nuts to a food processor bowl. Process until both are chopped and have formed a roughly textured meal.
- Add the watercress, and pulse until the watercress has formed a paste.
- Add parmesan, olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt. Pulse to combine.
- Use a spoon to scrape the sides of the bowl, and pulse a few more times, until it is well mixed.
More Watercress Recipes:
- Cauliflower and Watercress Soup, by SkinnyTaste
- Gingered Salmon with Grilled Corn and Watercress Salad, by Food & Wine
- Potato, Parsnip, and Watercress Tortilla, by Cannelle et Vanille
- Roasted Sweet Potato, Quinoa, and Watercress Warm Winter Salad, by Bring Joy
GiselleR @ Diary of an ExSloth says
I’m not sure I’ve ever had watercress before, at least not out of my own kitchen. Looks so good tho!
I have an insane amount of kale at home and using it in smoothies is getting old, so I’ll probably whip up some pesto tomorrow. Thanks for the inspiration 😀
I have never thought of using watercress in pesto but I am sold!! I face the same challenges girl – my to do list never seems to end!
Before the last month, I have never used watercress for anything but salads- but I am realizing it is very versatile, and since it’s such a powerful green, I’d like to use it as much as possible!
Natalie @ Budget and the Bees says
I love homemade pesto! My go to is spinach, but I’ve also done it with kale, which I didn’t like quite as much even though I love sauteed kale as a side dish. I don’t know if I’ve had watercress before, but I know I haven’t cooked with it at home. I like to try new things, however, and last week I bought broccoli rabe on sale. I looked up a couple recipes and decided to give it a hot water bath and then sautee it with garlic and red pepper flakes. My husband hated it, and it wasn’t my favorite; it was pretty bitter! Needless to say I may have a hard time convincing him to try new greens.
As a pesto, he might no object! Or, mix in half basil and give it a try! I love broccoli rabe- but I also love bitter, sour, and pungent flavors!
I have made pesto before but never anything like this! Love the superfood status. I guess it’s time to try watercress, never had it, but heard it’s peppery. But if I know something is good for me, my brain convinces me it tastes good too (I think it’s a mid 30’s crisis thing for me, haha)
Yes, I have always liked to experiment with healthy ingredients until I like them. Prepared well, there aren’t any vegetables I won’t eat!
I love watercress, but I’ve never used in pesto before – sounds bright and fresh. I’d love to see your work-out “to-do” list. I find myself so busy lately that I haven’t been making it the gym as often as I’d like and could use some motivation.
Michelle @ Green Earth Bazaar says
Ooh yummy! I’ll have try this pesto recipe for sure. I love super greens – just had a couple of handfuls in my morning smoothie. They give me an instant energy boost. 😉