Bittercress, Cardamine hirsuta, is part of the brassicaceae family, the group that includes cabbages and mustards. It has, indeed, got quite a fiery mustardy flavour! It often grows in disturbed ground. e.g. vegetable gardens, garden pots, rocky scree or the gaps in walls. It can be eaten raw in salads or sandwiches or cooked in soup or lasagne… It is the kind of ingredient that will give a good kick to your dishes. It is also packed with Vitamin C – just what we need to fight against colds and flu.
A few days ago, as I was giving Rose a hand to feed the hens, I noticed that there was quite a lot of bittercress in the garden and decided to do a few cooking experiments with it! I tried several recipes: stuffed raviolis, muffins and trio of mousses but I have to admit that my favourite was the muffin one. I mixed the bittercress with some mature cheddar in a nice muffin dough and the result was delicious: a very fully flavoured mustardy muffin! More often than not, we think of muffins as a dessert but savoury muffins go very well with soup and can make a more interesting side dish than bread.
So if you find some bittercress in your garden like me, don’t hesitate, harvest it and have a go at this “Bittercress and cheddar muffins” recipe:
Bittercress & Cheddar Muffins
Ingredients (makes about 12 muffins)
200g cottage cheese
100ml olive oil
110g grated cheddar
1 tsp hot chilli powder
500g Plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
Pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds to sprinkle
1 tsp of salt
Preheat your oven at 200°C. Wash the bittercress and make sure it is well drained. Chop it very finely or whiz it in a food processor. Blend the olive oil, cheddar, bittercress, chilli powder, milk, salt and eggs together in a bowl. Add the flour and baking powder and mix everything together but try not to mix for too long as you want to have an airy mixture and create pocket of air in your muffins.
Line the muffin tin with the greaseproof cases, fill them with the muffin mix and sprinkle the seeds on top.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. Leave to cool for few minutes before serving.