Watercress is the nose-twister of the vegetable world. It is a member of the mustard family and its botanical name is Nasturtium officinale. In Latin this means something that twists or tortures the nostrils. So how do you go about convincing a child that nose-twisting watercress is in fact delicious? Well we went back to an old trick of the Great Big Veg Challenge - quesadillas. The rest of the watercress looked on from its very own throne - a 1920's watercress dish that my husband found in an Oxfam shop a few weeks ago.
Freddie knows all my tricks by now but he is quite happy to go along with it. "I don't really like watercress. It's too peppery. But this is ok because I love quesadillas. And can you put extra pancetta in mine?"
Watercress Quesadillas with Mozzarella and pine nuts or pancetta
To make one quesadilla:
1 tortilla wrap ( try finding the multi grain wraps)
75g mozzarella cheese
15g toasted pine nuts
Cooking spray oil
Salt and pepper to season
OR add 2 slices of cooked pancetta and leave out the pine nuts
Wash and dry the watercress and roughly chop. Toast the pine nuts by heating up a small pan on a medium heat, sprinkle on the pine nuts and stir them around constantly for a minute or so until lightly browned. You won’t need to add any oil to do this. Chop up the mozzarella into thin slices.
Take a large non-stick frying pan. Lightly spray with a little cooking oil. Turn on the hob to a medium heat. Place a tortilla in the pan, and turn over a few times with a fish slice. It will bubble up slightly. First scatter the mozzarella cheese evenly over the surface of the tortilla. Add the watercress and then the pine nuts. A quesadilla should be quite flat so don’t overdo the filling. Use a fish slice to fold the tortilla in half so that the two edges match up with the filling in the middle. Gently press down so that the melting cheese sticks the tortilla together. Turn over to cook the other side. Don’t let the tortilla burn. Flip it over so that each side becomes a crisp golden brown.
FREDDIE'S SCORE - NINE OUT OF TEN