Mustard and cress are often grown together,
to provide spicy greenery as a garnish or for salads. They are available
all year round. Mustard seedlings germinate 3-4 days sooner than the
cress, so if you buy mustard and cress from the supermarket, or grow
your own on the windowsill, initially the punnets will only show mustard
Cress has been grown for thousands of
years, known first to the Persian. There is a story that the Persians
would always eat cress before they baked bread, and there are other
references in antiquity to people eating cress with bread.
Today mustard and cress are often enjoyed in
sandwiches, either served simply on buttered bread, or with avocado or
cucumber added. Cress probably wouldn't be substantial enough as a salad
in itself, but, with its faint spicy flavor, it can perk up a plain
green salad, and it is also excellent in a tomato salad, dressed simply
with olive oil and tarragon vinegar.