Mexican Style Watercress and Spinach Salad: Ensalada de Berros con Espinacas

articles Food & Cuisine Recipes

Karen Hursh Graber

In this recipe, two of central Mexico’s favorite greens are combined with corn, radishes and green onions and dressed with a chile vinaigrette. This makes a good accompaniment to almost any barbequed meat, fish or fowl. Fresh corn kernels cut off the cob are best in this salad, but thawed frozen kernels may be used.


  • ½ pound spinach leaves, washed and dried
  • 4 ounces watercress, tough stems and any wilted leaves discarded
  • 3 ancho chiles, seeded and cut into strips
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¾ cup cooked, cooled corn kernels or an equal amount of thawed frozen corn kernels
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions or scallions
  • ½ cup thinly sliced radishes
  • 4 ounces cubed queso panela or any firm, fresh white cheese
  • 1 large avocado, peeled and cubed


For the dressing

  • Reserved oil from sautéing the chiles
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • ½ tablespoon soy sauce

Wrap washed and dried spinach leaves and watercress in paper towels and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Sauté the chile strips in the olive oil 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until they release their fragrance, being careful not to burn them. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels and set aside, reserving the oil for the dressing.

Mix the cider vinegar, garlic and soy sauce. Add the reserved chile oil in a stream, whisking to emulsify the dressing.

Combine the spinach and watercress with the corn, green onions, radishes, cheese and avocado. Toss with the dressing. Place on salad dishes and garnish with the sautéed chile strips. Serves 4.

For Soups, Stews and Summer Salads: Mexico’s Leafy Greens

Published or Updated on: July 1, 2005 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2008
Share This:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *