Watercress is the name given to several species of plants. There is the watercress that grows spontaneously along the streams: it has small leaves, a little fleshy, of a dark and shiny green color; it is excellent raw in salads, but is also used to garnish dishes. Once this plant could easily be collected on the banks of waterways but today, because of pollution, it is better to rely on those cultivated.
Meadow cress is instead a spontaneous herbaceous plant with leaves quite similar to the previous species, only slightly more elongated in the upper part of the stem; it is excellent raw, in salads. Finally, there is the English cress, which has thin white stems oand small green leaves of oval shape; this plant can also be grown at home, while on the market it is usually sold in small baskets.
In addition to used raw in salads or as an ingredient to prepare flavored butters to accompany grilled meats, watercress can be also cooked to make soups and mashed potatoes.