Posted by / Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Creasy Greens or Cress Salad

It is not Christmas dinner unless mom carries on the tradition of Creasy Greens or Cress salad.

Originally a wild green most creasy is a cultivated crop now. My grandfather would usually pick these on the side of the road in the country while hunting in the 60's and 70's. Because this grows very close to the ground and also in sandy soil they can be difficult to clean. Several options for cleaning include soaking in a large pot or sink. Changing the water out several times until no sand or grit is in the bottom of the pan. For large amounts like the 18 pounds above the gentle rinse cycle in the washing machine believe it or not can do the trick. Go through and remove any large thick stems but really the smaller ones are fine to cook.

The Recipe is simple:
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil and add any type of smoked meat, salt pork, ham pieces, and I prefer smoked jowl . Add fresh ground pepper but no salt.
  • Let this continue to simmer with the meat for about an hour and half. This will season the water.
  • Begin adding creasy in small batches to wilt keeping the water at a simmer and stirring occasionally. 45-50 minutes should do.
  • Remove the pot from the stove. Allow the liquid to come to room temperature as this will continue to allow the creasy to soak up flavor.
  • Serve as a side with a little of the juice adding diced onion and apple vinegar for an amazing flavor. The remaining can be frozen and used as a side dish well into spring.
Nutrition? 100 grams of winter cress (creasy greens) contain an impressive 5,067 I.U. of vitamin A and 152 milligrams of vitamin C. By comparison, the same weight of raw broccoli spears rates only 2,500 I.U. of vitamin A . . . and oranges (which of course are universally acknowledged as a good source of vitamin C) provide a comparatively measly 50 milligrams of C per 100 grams!

Thanks mom as it really would not be Christmas after all these years without creasy salad. Is it ready yet?

E.A.T. local E.A.T. well


  1. Wow - I can't wait! I still can't believe my ears when your mom tells us about washing the cress in the washing machine!

  2. Mmm, sounds tasty! My grandmother told me they used to make a cress salad. Now you have me curious about what they did with them.

  3. You boil it up with seasonings like pork fat back and whatever you like, salt pepper, that's about all except open the windows and boil like hell, they stink when cooking really strong, and ya gotta boil them like 3 hours or until tender, then they are really good!!!!!!


"Some people eat to live; I live to eat." -Tim Vidra

An avid home cook, I believe in using simple ingredients, local when possible and am inspired by the principles of supporting a sustainable food system. I’ve cultivated this blog as a way to share my passion for the preparation and enjoyment of food in a way that everyone from beginners to long time foodies can get involved in.



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