Prepare an authentic canarian watercress stew

The watercress is a medicinal plant that provides with its mineral salts and vitamins a great restorative force to those who consume it. The essential nutrients of this plant make it very present in herbalists and in different culinary recipes, as is the case of watercress stew, very popular in the Canary Islands.

Watercress stew, a typical canarian dish

Watercress is an aquatic plant that belongs to the family of the Cruciferae and has been harvested in rural areas since ancient times as a nutritious food resource.

Its leaves have a bitter taste and are often incorporated into sauces, salads, vegetable creams and stews, to which they not only contribute their characteristic taste, but also their extraordinary therapeutic qualities, very useful in combating situations of respiratory disorders, anaemia or simply physical weakness.

A plate of canarian watercress stew

What is a watercress stew

Canarian watercress stew holds a very special place in the varied Canarian gastronomy. Quite unknown in the Iberian Peninsula, is a traditional recipe in the archipelago very restorative and comforting, as is the case with most of the spoon dishes islanders.

It is a vegetable stew whose recipe is different on each island (and most likely in each household). The watercress stew recipe we are going to show you will serve as a base to later adapt it to your personal taste and add or remove the ingredients that do not convince you completely.

A ration of canarian watercress stew

How to prepare a canarian watercress stew

Before moving on to the way a good Canary Island watercress stew is prepared, it is interesting to know the real health "chute" you are going to try.

Watercress contains significant amounts of iodine, calcium, iron and folic acid, as well as vitamins C and A . As early as the 17th century, the English military physician John Woodall recommended watercress as a good remedy for scurvy because of its richness in vitamin C. In addition, watercress is an important source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Traditional Canarian dish, watercress stew

Among the great benefits of watercress are its good digestive, expectorant, diuretic, antioxidant, phytochemical and stimulant effects

A 2010 study by the University of Southampton reveals that regular consumption of watercress inhibits the growth of breast cancer.

After this brief review of the parabens of watercress consumption, we will see how a delicious Canary Island stew is made with this plant as a base. Pay attention to the details and you will have a stew that you can enjoy with your family or friends.

Recipe for Canary Island Watercress Stew


The ingredients you need to prepare this watercress stew recipe for 4 people are as follows.

  • -250 grams of watercress.
  • -250 grams of beans.
  • -2 potatoes.
  • -250 grams of pumpkin.
  • -400 grams of pork ribs.
  • -One and a half liters of water.
  • -A bay leaf.
  • -2 ears of sweet corn split in half.

A good watercress stew from the Canary Islands

How to make it

The preparation of a watercress stew is very simple and will not take you more than 55 minutes: 10 for its preparation and 45 for its cooking.

  • -Leave the beans to soak the day before as you would any legume.
  • -The next day, start by browning the meat pieces, so that you don't cook them raw. This way they will add more flavour to the stew.
  • -Prepare the rest of the ingredients while browning the meat, chopping the watercress and peeling and chopping the pumpkin and potatoes, these in irregular pieces, tearing the cut a little so that the broth is a little more stuck.
  • -When the meat is well browned, add the pumpkin, potatoes, watercress, corn on the cob and laurel, covering all the ingredients with water.
  • -If you use a fast cooker, it will take about 45 minutes to cook. But if you prefer traditional cooking, the ingredients will be ready in about 2 hours.

Canary Island watercress stew

When the watercress stew is ready, remove the laurel and give it a special touch with a blanched gofio with the same broth as the stew (in some areas of the Canary Islands gofio is served separately).

As with many stews and casseroles, it is more tasty if it is served the day after it is prepared, although you can eat it perfectly the same day you cook it.

Canarian watercress stew can be eaten as a single dish or served with some Canarian cheeses.

As far as pairing is concerned, this recipe for watercress stew made with meat has some good crianza wines, and if they are wines from some of the many Canary Islands' denominations of origin, better than better.

Few dishes are healthier than watercress stew, a classic of Canarian gastronomy full of flavour and whose preparation allows you to make a variety of dishes, all of them exquisite.

Photos:, Canary Islands Government,, Diario de Avisos,,


Download now our free digital guide

If you are looking for a digital guide that will help you make the most of your trip to Tenerife, our guide What to see in Tenerife in 4 days is created for you to know all the essentials and more on your trip.

Featured articles

Other articles about...

Are you going to Tenerife and you still don't have a plan?

Download our free guide "What to see in Tenerife in 4 days" and discover all the corners of Tenerife to make the most of your trip.