How and where to store watercress?
Only fresh watercress with green leaves should be stored without signs of wilting, yellowing or rotting. If the leaves are difficult, it turns out, to be called fresh, then they will deteriorate very quickly. In some cases, even eating a salad will be difficult. If, for example, the leaves begin to wilt or deteriorate, then their taste characteristics will be significantly impaired.
The Principles of storing watercress :
- before storage, watercress leaves do not need to be washed (any amount of moisture accelerates the decay process);
- if the watercress leaves are stored in a plastic bag, then it is necessary to make holes in it beforehand to create ventilation (condensation accumulates in the plastic bag, which leads to moisture and further decay of the leaves);
- the best option for storing watercress is a plastic container with a lid or a bag (the bag should not be plastic, but plastic);
- watercress cannot be stored at room temperature (light and heat are detrimental to the leaves, especially if they are cut off);
- if you put watercress leaves in a glass jar and pour over vegetable oil, they will last longer (you can use any vegetable oil, including olive oil);
- you can store watercress using salt (salt can be dissolved in water, and then pour lettuce leaves on it, or sprinkle the leaves with coarse salt, in both cases, glass jars or containers must be used as containers);
- if you wrap watercress in parchment or any thick paper, then it will better retain its taste and freshness);
- you need to store watercress only in the refrigerator or in the freezer (in room conditions, watercress can be stored for some time if it was grown independently and was not cut, but dug out with a part of the earth);
- in the refrigerator, watercress should be placed in the vegetable area or on the shelves in the refrigerator door (if the leaves freeze, they will change their taste and the consistency of the leaves);
- whole watercress leaves are stored better and longer than shredded ones (if the leaves are cut or have a significant amount of mechanical damage, then they should be eaten as soon as possible);
- you can freeze watercress in any container (containers, plastic or plastic bags, etc.);
- it is recommended to rinse the watercress before freezing if there is contamination on its leaves (after washing, the leaves must be dried naturally).
Watercress can be canned. To do this, use sterilized glass jars with lids and a small amount of vinegar. Lettuce leaves go well with herbs, so they can be placed in containers along with parsley, green onions or dill. Before canning, it is necessary to heat not only the cans, but also the leaves themselves. It is enough to blanch them in boiling water for several minutes.
How long can watercress be stored
Cut watercress leaves can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. On average, they only stay fresh and juicy for 5-6 days. The root salad can be stored for a longer period. If the watercress is bought in pots, then the leaves must be cut off before eating directly. If the salad is grown independently, then it is better not to cut it off, but to dig it up. By placing the roots with the remnants of the earth in a plastic cup, you can create an imitation of a pot. In this state, the salad can be stored for almost one and a half to two weeks.
Watercress leaves can be frozen. In the freezer, they will remain fresh for several months. It should be borne in mind that after defrosting, the consistency of the leaves will be disturbed, so it will be problematic to use them to decorate salads or other dishes.
Pickled watercress has the longest shelf life. In this case, the freshness of the leaves is not lost for almost 3-4 months. However, the longer the leaves are stored, the more they become saturated with marinade and change their taste characteristics.