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Old 10-04-2008, 01:25 PM   #1
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Field Cress (aka "Creasy Greens")

Calling all Southerners!!!

My weekly Saturday morning visit to our local Farmers' Market yielded not only tomatoes, baby zucchini, white turnips with scrumptious bushy greens attached, hydroponic butter lettuce, & baby Japanese eggplant, but also several crisp handfuls of what was billed as "Field Cress", which I've never had before.

I've spent some time googling it & have discovered it to be an originally wild but now cultivated green popular in Southern cooking, frequently known as "Creasy Greens".

A small taste of half a leaf sent my mouth into a tailspin!! Talk about HOT! The only way I can describe the flavor (which was good, don't get me wrong) is a mixture of Arugula, Mustard, Watercress, & Horseradish.

I did find three recipes online - one the traditional long slow boil with fatback, one with scrambled eggs, one a quiche - but was wondering if anyone else here has used it. I'm thinking it might work well as an Arugula substitute in a Gorgonzola pasta dish I like to make, but of course I'd have to use less of it. It's quite overpowering.

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Old 10-10-2008, 08:45 AM   #2
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Well, I never imagined I'd be alone here with my Field Cress. Lol!!

Well, if anyone here does come across Field Cress, I can tell you that it makes a terrific addition to pasta sauce. Last night on a whim (& since I have a sack of the stuff still in the fridge) I chopped up a couple of handfuls & sauteed it in some extra-virgin olive oil along with some hot Italian sausage chunks. Stirred in a jar of Bertolli Tomato & Roasted Garlic pasta sauce & served it all on a bed of Rotini pasta. It was delicious. The Field Cress gave it a snappy bite without the "arugula" taste it had when I tried it raw. Very interesting.

I may just have to pick up another sack full at the Farmers' Market tomorrow to experiement with further. . . .
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Old 10-25-2008, 04:11 PM   #3
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I knew you guys have all been waiting with held breath for my latest Field Cress update - lol!!

Today was the last day for our local Culpeper Farmers' Market, so I braved the torrential rain to pay (& buy) my last tributes.

They had a HUGE basket of really fresh crispy Field Cress, & while I was only going to buy just a little, there was this wonderful little woman there with her very statuesque son just shovelling massive amounts of the greens into bags, so I figured she'd be an excellent person to ask about cooking it.

She told me to break off the leaves & discard the stems, then cook it like I would any cooking green (turnip, collard, etc.) for a long time with a smoked meat. She said smoked turkey wings or thighs would be fine. Said to cook it right down until there was hardly any liquid left, then serve.

She then proceeded to show me how to roll the greens in order to pack large amounts into a bag without breaking the leaves, thus inundating me with about 5 pounds of it - lol!! She was so sweet & so eager to help me that I didn't have the heart to tell her that I wasn't planning on buying that much, so I did buy it. Now I have the bag taking up about 1/4 of my fridge - lol!!

Since I do like it in other recipes, I'm thinking I'll cook some of it down plain, squeeze out the moisture, & freeze it. For the rest I'll pick up some smoked turkey wings or thighs this week & see how I like it that way.

If I keep this up, before long I'll probably be able to put out my own "Field Cress" cookbook - lol!!
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Old 10-25-2008, 04:33 PM   #4
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Oh, your too funny, BC. I've never had it, but you have me on the prowl for when our markets open in a week or so. Ours open around November 1st.
I don't think I'll start with a 1/4 fridge full though.
Enjoy, and thanks for sharing again.
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Old 10-25-2008, 04:35 PM   #5
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Never heard of it or had, as far as I know anyway. Sounds good though. Let us know what all you end up doing with it and the best way.

Here is a link http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...%3Den%26sa%3DN
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Old 10-25-2008, 04:39 PM   #6
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breezy, you lucked out and got the good stuff!
i love the spiciness of good field cress. unfortunately, much of what i can get easily is boring. just another bit of green.
it's a lot in the same way the a good, fresh, peppery radish blows away the tasteless junk sold in many supermarkets.
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Old 10-25-2008, 05:43 PM   #7
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Ahh, FINALLY - someone here who knows of what I speak - lol!!

Have you cooked, or enjoyed it elsewhere, Bucky, in any different ways than I've been able to discover so far?
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Old 10-25-2008, 05:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom View Post
breezy, you lucked out and got the good stuff!
i love the spiciness of good field cress. unfortunately, much of what i can get easily is boring.
sort of like boring ink pasta, eh????????????
But I gotta agree with the radishes. Haven't had a good tongue biter in a while.
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Old 10-25-2008, 05:54 PM   #9
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breezy, pay no mind to them comedians.

i've had it raw in salads, and as an ingredient in asian dishes. but i've never cooked or prepared it in any way by myself. it was so noticable, though, that i had to know what those tiny, creased leaves that packed such a punch were. it's great stuff.
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Old 10-25-2008, 06:05 PM   #10
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Yes, I have been enjoying it in salads & pasta sauces. Tonight I'm making a Thai shrimp dish & am planning on dicing up a little into the Jasmine rice.

Field Cress lasts a LONG time in the fridge, so regardless of how much I end up cooking & freezing, I'll still have a lot left raw to use & experiment with.

Although somehow I don't think I should base my retirement on the possible proceeds from the "Breezycooking Field Cress Cookbook" - lol!!
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