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Wonderful Watercress

Spring is here and with us the start of the UK watercress season.

Watercress contains over 50 vital vitamins and minerals. Gram for gram it provides more vitamin C than oranges, more calcium than milk, more vitamin E than broccoli and more folate than a banana.

There are countless reasons to eat watercress but most of all it’s the taste! The peppery, crunch of watercress complements any dish be it grilled fish, meat or a vegetarian option.

Here are two delicious recipes to make the most of watercress and it’s health-giving benefits.

Spinach and Watercress Veggie Burgers – Makes 6


  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 125g watercress
  • 125g spinach
  • 5 slices white bread
  • 100g cheddar, grated
  • 40g vegetarian parmesan, grated
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Heat a splash of oil in a frying pan and add in the onions with a pinch of salt. Fry gently until cooked through then leave to cool.
  2. Place the white bread in a food processor and blend until turned into breadcrumbs. Tip into a large bowl. Also, blend the watercress until finely chopped then add into the same bowl. Repeat with the spinach.
  3. Add in the cooled onion and cheese before mixing together. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs.
  4. Add the egg to the other ingredients a little at a time until the mixture comes together. You may not need all of the egg. Add in a good pinch of salt and pepper.
  5. Shape the mixture into 6 burgers then dust all over both sides with flour, tapping off any excess. The burgers can now be kept either chilled for up to 3 days before frying or frozen for up to one month.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Heat another splash of oil in a frying pan and fry each burger for 2-3 minutes before placing on a baking tray and finishing in the oven for another 8-10 minutes.
  7. Serve with toasted brioche buns, roasted peppers, and hummus, or with any other topping you prefer.


Sticky Pork Belly Burritos


For the pork:
  • 1kg of pork belly, skin on and ribs removed
  • 3 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 3 tbsp treacle
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed and roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • Pinch chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 2 tsp salt

For the 5 bean salad:

  • 1 400g tin 5 bean salad
  • ½ bunch coriander, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely diced
  • ½ a red onion, finely diced
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Salt to taste

To serve:

  • 6 large tortilla wraps
  • 150ml sour cream
  • 100g tomato salsa
  • 100g grated Cheddar


  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C and place the pork in a deep roasting tin, skin side up. Combine the remaining pork ingredients in a bowl, then spread all over the meat including on the under-side. Cover with foil and roast in the oven for 3 hours or until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, make the 5 bean salad by draining and rinsing the tinned beans before combining with the other ingredients. Season to taste.
  3. Once the pork is out of the oven, leave to rest for 30 minutes before slicing thickly. Finish the pork slices by cooking for a minute or so on each side on a preheated barbecue. This will crisp up the skin and give a nice smoky flavour. Alternatively, you can finish by frying on each side in a hot pan. Keep any leftover sauce from the cooking of the meat and drizzle over the pork before serving.
  4. Serve with the bean salad, wraps, watercress, salsa and sour cream in bowls.

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Recipe Photography Laura Jane Thorpe

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