I paid a quick visit to the Hairspring Watercress beds this morning, as the Watercress is at it’s peak condition at the moment.  It has been enjoying the relatively warm, wet weather for ideal growing, and the occassional frost helps give it a peppery hit.

It’s the perfect January Green for the detox, packed full of vitamins and nutrients, with vibrant colour and a satisfying crunch. It is also seriously local, coming less than 5 miles away in Hambrook, in beds which have solid gravel bases and impermiable walls fed by natural spring water and deep boreholes during the drier months. All their watercress is cut and bunched by hand, then trimmed, labelled, washed and packed with ice.

You can eat the watercress as a salad, in sandwiches or as soup and as it is stuffed full of vitamin C, it’s ideal for helping keep the colds away at this time of year.

It’s also perfect for this seasonal recipe that uses mackerel, chicory and oranges.  If you would like to pick up mackerel fillets, oranges, watercress and chicory from the Farm Shop this Friday, then just email. It also makes a serious bacon sarnie!

Mackerel, Orange and Watercress Salad Recipe

  • 2 large oranges
  • 2 x mackerel fillets
  • 2 heads chicory, trimmed
  • 1 bunch of Hairspring watercress
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tsp clear honey


Use a knife to remove the skin from the oranges, then cut between the white membranes to loosen the orange segments. Once all the segments have been removed, squeeze the remaining piece of orange over a bowl to remove the juice and set aside.

Break the chicory into leaves.

Heat a frying pan with a little oil over medium high heat. Lightly score the mackerel fillets on the skin side and season with pepper, then place skin side down in the frying pan for 2-3 minutes, then turn over for a further minute. Remove from pan

Arrange the watercress, chicory and orange segments into two bowls and place the mackerel on top.

Whisk the reserved orange juice, oil, mustard and honey together with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle over the salad and serve.