OTHER NAMES: hairy cress DISTRIBUTION: throughout the North Island and eastern South Island, also Stewart and Chatham Islands ABOUT: a small, rosette-shaped annual with lobed leaves, small white flowers and upright seed pods that explode, flinging the seeds far and wide when ripe and you touch them. Likes to grow with container plants but also in damp gardens, driveways, and cultivated or disturbed soil. It grows and goes to seed within a few weeks, enabling it to have several generations in a year. USES: the small, peppery-tasting leaves are great bursts of flavour in a salad, especially in winter, and you can use them whole. The leaves are high in vitamin C.
4 beetroot (500g) 50g sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds 1 tbsp honey 2 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp lemon juice 40g bitter cress sea salt Preheat the oven to 200°C. Wash the beetroot and boil in water for about 45-50 minutes or so – they should be tender when pierced with a skewer. Spread the seeds in a frying pan and dry roast while stirring for about 8 minutes. Whisk the honey, oil, salt and lemon juice together. While the beetroot are still warm, peel them and cut into bite-size pieces. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and serve.