FoodPaths - March 2012
Watercress Puree
Catherine Wainer, Sausalito Springs

Born in Belgian, brought to Boston by her parents, and landing as an adult in the Bay Area, this cosmopolitan woman did not set out to be a farmer.   Standing in the kitchen of her converted barn with its hand-rubbed walls of mustard, bronze and fuscia, we might as well have been in an elegant French farmhouse.  With ease, grace and a sparkle in her eyes, Catherine prepared a simple puree from the fields outside her doors, chatted about the health benefits of watercress, and shared her thoughts about farming as a quality of life choice.

Belgian Puree de Cresson (Watercress Puree)
Yield: 1 ½ to 2 cups.

Indonesian Pea Shoot And Tofu Stir Fry

“This puree has been in my family for generations and served in dozens of homes on numerous continents.  Serve it with chips or crackers with a glass of wine… red or white.  Add a scoop or two to pasta with or without a little cheese, and it becomes a sauce.  Serve it with chicken, fish, pork or beef and it becomes a side dish.  Whether you serve it directly from the refrigerator or at room temperature, the puree is our favorite kitchen secret.”— Catherine Wainer
Sausalito Springs


Click here for Photo Gallery Showing Technique


  1. Chop potato into ½ inch cubes.  Set aside.
  2. Wash watercress. Set aside.
  3. Bring a pot of water to boil.
  4. Drop potato cubes into the water.
  5.  Cook 8 – 10 minutes or until tender.
  6. Turn water off.
  7. Blanch watercress for 10 seconds. (i.e. Drop watercress into pot of water with the potato; wait 10 seconds and pour everything into a colander.)  
  8. Squeeze out water; press watercress and potato against the side of the colander.
  9. Place watercress, potato,  and butter in food processor.
  10. Add salt/pepper and optional garlic clove.
  11. Process together until the mixture forms a puree.
  12. Ready to go!
  13. Note:  This will keep fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  (If it lasts that long!)

Note:  When watercress is cooked, it may lose some of its color.  Feel free to add additional fresh watercress to the puree to bring up the vibrant depth of green color and a sharper flavor.