Cress Oil

Preparation info

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By Ben Shewry

Published 2012

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  • 2 bunches puha (wild watercress), leaves picked (stalks reserved for the broth)
  • 0.5 g natural vitamin C powder (non-acidic)*
  • 100 ml ( fl oz) grape seed oil


Place the puha leaves, vitamin C powder and oil in an upright blender and blend for 30 seconds or until smooth but not completely emulsified.

Pour into a 3 litre (105 fl oz) capacity distillation flask, place in a rotary evaporator*, set the water bath temperature to 30°C (86°F) and the cooling temperature to −20°C (−4°F), set the rotation speed to 45 RPM and distil at full vacuum for 1 hour (depending on the strength of the vacuum) or until all of the juices have evaporated off the mixture, leaving just the oil and solids.

Remove from the rotary evaporator and drain the oil and solids in a fine sieve lined with muslin (cheesecloth) for 3 hours in the refrigerator. Once all of the oil has drained, discard the solids and store the oil in an airtight container in the refrigerator until needed.

Alternatively, you could skip using the rotary evaporator; simply hang the blended oil and you would still achieve an acceptable result.