This recipe is a family favourite of the O'Connell's from Cullahill, Co. Laois. This recipe from Tom O'Connell is extremely popular at the family's picnics.
"For this recipe, I have been guided by Darina's recipe in The Ballymaloe Cookery Course Book, with influences from my own picnic travels. I use organic Carolus potatoes and watercress or land cress from the McNally Family Farm in North County Dublin to make this dish. As children, my siblings and I enjoyed what we now know as foraging: Watercress from the crystal clear streams flowing into the local Goul river was always met with Mother’s beaming smile of approval."- Tom O'Connell
Yield: Serves 4-6 as a side dish
- 1kg floury organic potatoes (I use Carolus)
- 100g watercress or land cress, carefully washed with any tough stalks removed
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons flat parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons spring onions, chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 pinch white pepper powder – my Mother’s secret ingredient
- 175ml homemade mayonnaise
- 75ml organic plain low-fat yoghurt – I use McNally’s
- Juice of half a lemon, or to taste
- If possible, combine the mayonnaise, yoghurt, herbs and spring onions the evening before serving. Season and add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to add a little bit of acidity for extra flavour – leave to ‘marry’ overnight in the fridge.
- The day of your picnic, peel the potatoes, chop to the desired size and steam in a proper steamer until cooked through – al dente potato salad is not a happy situation.
- Once the potatoes have cooled, combine with the dressing and check for seasoning – I always need an extra sprinkling of sea salt flakes and can never resist a little more powdered white pepper (for the memories).
- Place the salad in a large bowl, top with watercress and serve.
Photography: Harry Weir