How Do I Clean Water Cress?

fresh watercress on wooden cutting board


The succulent leaves and stems of watercress provide a peppery green that you can use in sandwiches, salads and wraps. The small, bright green leaves also work well as a flavorful garnish on a breakfast or brunch platter. Watercress grows naturally in streams, although, sometimes you can find it in your grocery store. These delicate water plants bruise and wilt easily, so clean them carefully to avoid damage and to ensure the best flavor.

Fill the sink or a bowl with cold water. With a rubber band, secure the stems of the watercress bunch.

Hold the bunch by the stems and dip the leaves in the water. Swirl the leaves around to dislodge the dirt without bruising the tender leaves.

Shake the excess moisture from the leaves and then pat dry with a paper towel.

Cut the ends from the stems with a sharp knife, and then remove the rubber band. Trim the entire stem of older watercress, because the stems of older watercress tends to be tough. Cut or tear the leaves into the desired size before serving.