If the thought of Halloween fills you with dread and trick or treaters prowl the streets. But how about magicking up something a little different to satisfy those ghoulish lusts and which scarily might not be as unhealthy as they expect!
These devilishly good recipes packed with the original superfood, watercress, make chilling statement dishes for any Halloween party and with more than 50 essential vitamins and minerals in every mouthful of watercress they’re frighteningly good for you!
Spooky Salad Platter
Makes 1 large sharing salad
Prep time: 20mins
Cook time: 20 mins
- 40g Watercress
- ½ small Pumpkin, sliced
- 2 Apples, peeled, cored & sliced
- 100g Blackberries, halved
- 100g red cabbage, shredded
- If you have Halloween cookie cutters, now might be the time to dust them off! If not, cut the pumpkin slices into pumpkin shapes with a sharp knife. If you have a small enough tip, you can cut faces in to the pumpkin, but it will work just as well without!
- Repeat this step for the apples, cutting ghosts and ghouls from the slices.
- Bake the pumpkin in a preheated oven at 180° for around 20 minutes
- Layer all the ingredients together on a platter – you’re now party ready!
Top tip: A set of small Halloween cookie cutters will save you time when making the pumpkin and ghost shapes.
Watercress Pesto Mummies
Makes 8 Pies
Prep time: 10mins
Cook time: 30mins
2 sheets Puff Pastry
For watercress pesto:
- 80g watercress
- 1 clove garlic
- 1tbsp chopped nuts
- 50-75ml olive oil
- 50g grated parmesan cheese
Handful Black Olives to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 180°.
- Divide one sheet of pastry into 8 rectangles.
- Make the pesto by blitzing all ingredients together, adding more/less oil so that the pesto isn’t too runny.
- Divide the pesto mixture between the pastry triangles, keeping a 1cm clear border around the edge*. Then, cut 1cm thick strips from your second sheet of pastry – these will form your mummy bandages! Zigzag a strip over the top of the pesto, making sure the bandage is touching the clear edge of the pastry underneath so that they will stick together. Repeat for all Mummies!
- Slice your black olives into rounds to make two eyes on each Mummy and bake for around 20-30 minutes.
*You could also add some grated cheese before the bandages go on top for an extra tasty treat.
Roasted Cauliflower Brain with Green Slime Hummus and Dead Man’s Finger Sandwiches
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1.5 hours
- 1 whole cauliflower
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 150ml white wine
- Salt and pepper
- 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
For the green slime
- 50g watercress, roughly chopped
- 2 tins chickpeas in water
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp tahini
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 6 tbsp olive oil
For the dead man’s fingers
- 1/2 a loaf of thin-sliced white bread, crusts removed
- Soft butter or margarine
- 150g cream cheese
- 50g whole almonds
- Preheat oven to 150°C. Trim the leaves from the cauliflower and cut its base flat so that it sits upright. Rub all over with olive oil. Place the cauliflower into an ovenproof casserole dish and pour over the white wine. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1.5 hours. Check after 1 hour and brush on more oil if cauliflower seems dry. After the time is up, remove from the oven and insert a long knife into the centre of the cauliflower, ensuring that it is cooked all the way through. Leave to cool.
- While the cauliflower is in the oven, make the hummus. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and place into a blender with the watercress, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, ground coriander and a pinch of salt. Blend until smooth, gradually adding olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning and lemon juice if necessary.
- To make the finger sandwiches, gently flatten the slices of bread with a rolling pin to make them more pliable. Spread each slice with a little butter or margarine and some cream cheese. Roll up the sandwiches, then use a blunt knife to make indentations to form the knuckles. Trim one end of each roll into a V shape and use a little cream cheese to stick on an almond fingernail.
- Once the cauliflower has cooled, use a sharp knife to carefully cut a hollow, creating a bowl in the top. Fill this with the green hummus, then mix the ketchup with a little warm water and drizzles over the sides of the cauliflower to look like blood.
- Serve the cauliflower brain with the dead man’s fingers on the side for dipping.
Spooky Tortilla Graveyard with Guacamole Dip
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
- 4 ripe avocadoes
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 4 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
- 2-3 large tortilla wraps
- 250ml vegetable oil
- 85g watercress
- Salt and pepper
- To make the guacamole, add the avocado and lemon juice to a blender or food processor along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend until smooth, then stir in the coriander and red onion. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Use a small, sharp knife to cut grave stone shapes from the tortilla wraps. Why not be as creative as you like and try cutting out some ghosts or trees as well!
- Place a large frying pan on a medium-high heat and add the vegetable oil. After a few minutes, check the temperature of the oil by dropping in a small piece of tortilla wrap. If the wrap sinks to the bottom, the oil is not hot enough. Once the oil is the correct temperature, the tortilla should stay on the surface and create bubbles.
- Add a few tortilla shapes at a time to the oil, frying for less than a minute on each side or until golden. Drain the shapes on kitchen towel and allow to cool.
- Once the shapes have cooled, take a large ceramic oven dish and fill spread the guacamole evenly over the base. Scatter over the watercress to represent grass, then place the gravestones and other shapes in any way you like.
- If not serving immediately, keep the guacamole in the fridge and the tortilla shapes in an airtight container at room temperature.
Spiced Pumpkin Green Smoothie Sludge
Prep time: 5 minutes
- 1 small frozen banana
- 50g pumpkin puree (available tinned from most supermarkets)
- 40g watercress
- 40g baby spinach
- 60ml coconut milk
- 80ml unsweetened almond milk
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- Add all ingredients to a blender or smoothie maker and blend on high until smooth. Scrape down sides to make sure everything is incorporated and pulse again.
- Taste and adjust flavour as needed, adding more almond milk if too thick.
- Serve immediately or keep in the fridge for up to two days.
For other equally delicious but definitely less gruesome recipes featuring the chairman of the chopping board, visit www.watercress.co.uk.