Kale & Potato Mash

7 May

Otherwise known as Colcannon, this is an Irish invention of potatoes mashed with cabbage. It is a country dish which, the Irish and Scots took with them wherever they settled. I love it. It is simple, hearty and actually very tasty, it is particularly good if you use the black Tuscan kale Cavolo Nero. As you would expect, with an old country dish, there are many variations to it, some add meat or other vegetables, mine is fairly straight forward but with onion and garlic and is made with olive oil rather than butter.
Serves 4

  • Potatoes
  • Kale
  • Olive oil
  • Half a small onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Large pinch sea salt
  • Large pinch cracked black pepper
  • knob of butter to finish (optional)

Wash and chop (peel if you want) the potatoes and put on the stove in a roomy pan of boiling water to cook. Boil for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are tender, but not falling apart, and drain. Meanwhile wash and shred the kale, chop the onion finely and crush the garlic. In another pan put a good slosh of olive oil in the bottom add the onion, garlic, salt & pepper and fry until softened. When the alliums are softened add the kale stir well to coat it in the oil, add a little water, cover and simmer/steam on a low heat for 5-7 minutes until the kale is tender but still has some bite. Tip the simmered kale and its juices into the pan of drained potatoes and mash. At this point you could also add a little butter or the dripping from roast meat or chicken.

Freezing Kale for storage
We can usually harvest kale right through the winter and up until May. In spring when I need the room for the summer veg I harvest any remaining kale and freeze it. To freeze kale wash and shred it then drop into a large pan of boiling water, lift it out after 2 minutes and plunge into ice cold water to halt cooking. Drain well then put useable size portions into freezer bags and freeze immediately. Frozen kale lasts for about a year at -18 and keeps its colour, texture and taste. It is great in dishes like this one or added to vegetable soups like Ribolita or vegetables dishes such as Tuscan Kale in Pepper Sauce.
7/5/2008:

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