Watercress and Herb Salad with Potato Croutons

Serving a bowlful of fresh salad greens with bits of flavorful, sautéed or toasted bread croutons is a time-honored method of adding interest to a salad. This recipe is even better. A layer of crisp and succulent fried potato cubes is nestled on a tasty combination of watercress (or spinach) and fresh herbs tossed with a lemony vinaigrette. The contrast in tastes and textures is marvelous.


1 clove garlic
6 cups loosely packed, washed, trimmed, and dried watercress or fresh spinach
4 cups loosely packed, washed and dried mixed herb sprigs and leaves (dill, Italian parsley, fennel, chervil, tarragon, spearmint, oregano, basil, arugula, cilantro)
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
Vegetable oil for frying
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Lemon Vinaigrette, 1 recipe (see below)



¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced shallots or mild onions
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

1. Cut the garlic in half and rub the inside of a large salad bowl with it. Reserve garlic for another use. With clean hands, toss the watercress or spinach and herbs in the bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

2. Heat ¼ inch to ½ inch oil in an 8-inch frying pan over medium-high heat. The oil should be hot but not smoking and should immediately bubble around a test cube of potato. Fry the potatoes in two batches, turning and removing them with a slotted spoon to drain on paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Make the vinaigrette: whisk oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and shallots in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

4. To serve, toss the greens with the vinaigrette. Divide among four plates and top with the potatoes.

Serve 4

Adapted from “The Potato Harvest Cookbook” by Ashley Miller (Taunton Press, 1998). Copyright (c) 1998 by Ashley Miller. Reprinted by permission of Taunton Press.
Adapted from “The Potato Harvest Cookbook” by Ashley Miller (Taunton Press, 1998).


Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

J.L. A.
JL A5 years ago


Robert O.
Robert O6 years ago

Sounds very good. Thanks Annie.