Watercress sauce, marmite roasted new potatoes, tarragon and almond dressing


Joey O'Hare serves up a beautiful dish encapsulating the finest flavours of April – a watercress and new potato salad. The watercress sauce is enriched with soaked and blended cashew nuts for a beautifully creamy vegan sauce, while marmite-roasted new potatoes offer an umami punch.

First published in 2017

This first recipe, in my series of seasonal vegan salads, is unapologetically bold. It celebrates some of the best of spring’s produce, with all the flavours dialled up to their maximum! For me, watercress and tarragon is a match made in heaven, and watercress, cream cheese and marmite sandwiches were a childhood favourite… I’ve combined the two flavour combinations here in this gutsy, vibrant salad.

The watercress sauce is enriched with soaked cashews; this adds wonderful body to the sauce without interrupting the punch of the watercress and lemon. A high power blender is key here, making the sauce as creamy and smooth as possible. The tarragon and toasted almond pesto is deliberately left chunky as this adds a fantastic, contrasting texture.




Watercress sauce

Tarragon and almond dressing

Marmite potatoes

  • 400g of new potatoes, halved
  • 1 tsp Marmite
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil

For the salad


To begin, soak the cashews for the watercress sauce in water for at least 2 hours, and up to 6 hours (at room temperature)
Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6
Toast the almonds for 4–6 minutes, until golden
Halve the new potatoes and coat with the olive oil and marmite; using your hands here is best!
Roast the potatoes on a lined baking tray for 24 minutes until golden and crispy
Drain the cashews and blend with the watercress, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, water, and salt and pepper until smooth
With the motor running on high, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream to emulsify. Transfer the watercress sauce to the fridge
Finely chop the tarragon and roughly chop the toasted almonds. Combine the tarragon and almonds with the white wine vinegar, olive oil and seasoning to make the pesto-style dressing
Finely shave the radish and hold in ice-cold water to crisp up
Allow the potatoes to cool before plating (warm is okay)
To plate, spoon the watercress sauce onto your serving plate or platter and spread it around evenly. Scatter over the marmite potatoes and drizzle with the tarragon and almond dressing; garnish with shaved radish and extra watercress leaves

Joey has worked as a chef for ten years, both in London restaurants and in private homes across the UK and abroad. Joey’s latest project, Food with Time, explores ideas of sustainability within the food and farming industries, as well as the importance of a seasonal, veg-centric diet for both the environment and the individual.

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