Recipe inspired pedalling to ‘cress’ of Old Winchester Hill

Watercress sashimi
Watercress sashimi
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A delight of cycling through Hampshire on country roads is seeing not only interesting pubs, restaurants, and beautiful countryside but also where some of our great produce is grown.

I was recently at Warnford about to climb Hayden Lane to the top of Old Winchester Hill and there you can see watercress ponds – long deep green strips of leaf growing in running water. Not as popular as it was, with the introduction of rocket, but I think its pepperiness has more strength.

It’s traditionally served as a garnish to roast beef, but I think it’s better in salads to accompany raw fish or air-dried ham. It’s really good in stir fries too. Buy watercress that has just been harvested. Look for bright, perky leaves and use within a few days as it’s highly perishable. Using it straight away means you will also benefit from all the vitamins packed into this little super food.

Trying to keep my mind off of the gradient going up Old Winchester Hill I thought of a recipe using this local product and have paired it with salmon sashimi.

Watercress sashimi

Ingredients (serves four)

400g raw salmon fillet (skinned and dark meat removed)

Bunch watercress

Dessertspoon rice vinegar

2 dessertspoons light soy sauce

Dessertspoon sesame oil

4 dessertspoons water


1. Make sure the fish is very fresh and chilled.

2. Pick the leaves of the watercress and reserve some for garnish.

3. Put all the ingredients in a liquidiser and blitz for one to two minutes.

4. Strain the juice through a fine sieve.

5. Cut the salmon thinly and place in four bowls.

6. Pour over the watercress juice, garnish and serve