Watercress, new potato and avocado salad with a Spanish paprika and yoghurt dressing


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • For


Appears in

The Café Paradiso Cookbook

The Café Paradiso Cookbook

By Denis Cotter

Published 1999

  • About

We have an occasional supply of organic watercress from a pond on Hollyhill Farm in West Cork. When we get a consistent and abundant supply for a few weeks, I tend to experiment a little with It, but nothing works as well for me as a generous helping as a salad first course for dinner. Potatoes and watercress just love each other but the day we created this salad, the two things I was excited about were the watercress and a tin of Spanish paprika. (Well, what gets you excited?) The other Ingredients practically volunteered themselves to make a salad combination of obvious but perfect partners. I consider the yoghurt to be acid enough for the dressing, but if you want more bite in it a little lemon juice would be fine.


  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 100 mls olive oil
  • 100 mls yoghurt
  • 2 tsps paprika
  • hot water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 400 g new potatoes
  • 300 g watercress
  • 1 bunch of spring onions
  • 2 avocados


TO MAKE THE DRESSING, put the garlic in a jug with the olive oil, yoghurt and paprika. Whisk these together to get a fairly thick emulsion, either with a hand whisk or electric blender, then dilute this to the consistency of pouring cream by whisking in a little hot water. Season with salt and pepper.

Boil the potatoes until just cooked and cool them a little under cold water. Halve them if they are very small, or slice bigger ones fairly thickly. (Slicing the potatoes before cooking them works just as well and is also a little quicker.) Prepare the watercress by washing and drying it carefully, then pick through it to discard any dodgy leaves or woody stalk, bearing in mind that most of the stalk is edible. Tear the watercress into fairly big pieces - these will maintain a structure on the plate, where small pieces would fall flat and limp. Chop the spring onions, and toss them with the potatoes and watercress. Add some dressing and gently toss the salad to lightly coat the vegetables, then put a mound of salad on each of four plates. Cut the avocados in half and remove the stones, then scoop out the flesh in one piece with a spoon. Quickly, slice the halves into thickish pieces, then tuck these into the salads. Drizzle a little more dressing over any parts of the salads that look a little bare or neglected.