Tuesday, June 17, 2008

W is for Watercress and Ricotta Cheese Biscuits

My husband's birthday got off to an exciting start.
Its five in the morning. Everyone is sleeping. My husband's presents are hidden behind the wardrobe. All's well in the world.
"Mum?" shouts Alex.
"Mum,where are you?"
"I'm in bed, asleep,"I reply. More a grunt than a reply.
"Can you come down?" shouts up Alex.
"No I am asleep. What's the matter?"
Then comes the birthday treat.
"The kitten has exploded all over my duvet!"
And he had. The door to the room with his litter tray had been shut by mistake. Never again will we make that mistake.
It is now 945 am and I have been washing duvets,sheets, pillows, soft toys and rugs for the past 5 hours. My husband's well-planned birthday breakfast has been postponed until tomorrow morning. The kitten is chasing bees in the garden.

This is obviously a huge digression from watercress. But it is hard to write about watercress when you are laundering mounds of soiled linen. I was looking forward to telling you all about our watercress and ricotta cheese biscuits. Thank you for all your suggestions. I decided to base the recipe on a simple cheese biscuit with ricotta, watercress and parmesan. And we served it with Watercress and Artichoke soup. Freddie's verdict on the watercress biscuits was dramatic.
"I would be happy if this was the only food in the world you could eat."
The soup was given nine out of 10 and the biscuits were too good to be scored. Or so he said.
Watercress and Ricotta Biscuits
40g watercress, finely chopped
100g butter
100g plain flour
60g parmigiano reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons of ricotta cheese
Half a teaspoon of dijon mustard
1 beaten egg to glaze

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment. Use a food mixer to mix together the butter, flour ricotta and parmegiano cheese. Add the watercress and mustard and mix in the processor until it forms a dough. Using a spatula, scoop out the dough, adding a little flour if it is too sticky. Knead into a ball and wrap in cling film. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Take it out and roll it out on a floured surface to a half inch thickness or less if you prefer them thinner. Cut out using small biscuit cutters. Brush each biscuit with beaten egg. Put in the oven for between 7 and 10 minutes depending on the thickness of the dough. Serve with soup.
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Right it is back to the laundry. Can I ask a quick question - many of you have suggested making a watercress pesto to have maybe with burgers which we like the sound of - but when I made a watercress pesto it was too peppery hot. Does anyone know a milder version?


  1. firstly, that little freddy may have you wrapped around his little finger.

    secondly, get the CAT TO THE VET!!!

    and finally, why not temper the watercress pesto with parsley, spinach or some other mild mannered green leaf? (off the top of my head)

  2. Grocer.
    I know - an exploded kitten is not good.
    Though he looks quite intact now.
    You may be right about Freddie's scoring....though he did wolf down his soup and biscuits.
    I will try and temper the pesto - good idea. Maybe somes lambs lettuce....and basil...

  3. This one looks yummy! I'm bookmarking it for when my watercress is ready to harvest.

  4. Ursula L7:20 PM

    For a milder pesto, maybe make a pesto using a herb you know Freddie and the rest of the family likes, and add a small amount of watercress to spice it up? The problem with pepperiness is probably that it is overwhelming in large quantities, not that it is inherently distasteful.

    (The same reason why the biscuits were a hit - the watercress contributes a bit of a kick, rather than dominating.)

  5. Phwwwwooooaaaarrr those biscuits look tasty!

    I'm not sure what the colour would be like, but how about sun-dried tomato (like the ones you get in oil) and watercress pesto?

  6. A milder version of watercress pesto? Maybe you could try half watercress and half basil? Half as spicy.

  7. Hi,

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog with good vibes for my opening night. I so appreciate it!!! I am veggie phobic too even at my age, so I'm going to come by often so I can ante up with my veggies.


  8. Poor you, what a way to be woken up Charlotte! None to good for Freddie either I would think!

    The soup and biscuits sounds divine! I will be trying out the biscuit recipe very soon :)

  9. My mother makes fabulous pesto with what people in newfoundland call 'turnip tops' but is really a sort of mustard green (like they eat in Southern Africa, bizarrely). A local Scottish company sells rocket and cashew pesto, which is also very very nice. I usually find rocket a bit harsh, but this pesto (available in Tesco etc) is rather nice. Both pestos are particularly good with pasta along side fish dishes.


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