Last week, I once again came home from my CSA weekly delivery a bit stymied about how to best use my ingredients. We’d been getting insane amounts of kale for weeks and I was tired of just sautéing it, which was my go-to preparatory move. This past week, we got potatoes as well, and my Irish colleague suggested I make a colcannon. After some googling, I figured out what exactly that was and found the below recipe. Since it was originally written in metric measurements, I made guesstimates about many of the conversions. The result was delicious – the kale becomes crispy when baked, and the mix of hearty potatoes and flavorful kale was satisfying without making you feel stuffed.
Adapted from thepassionatecook
(Serves 6 as a side or 4 as a light meal in and of itself)
8 to 10 medium sized russet potatoes
2 pats butter
1/4 cup milk (to taste – there are many philosophies about adding milk, or half and half and/or heavy cream, to mashed potatoes, and I don’t want to foist my own on anyone else)
Half a stalk of curly kale
1 clove garlic (crushed)
1. Peel the potatoes and cut into bite-size chunks. Cook in salted water until very tender. Leaving the potatoes in the pot, drain the water out. Add half of the butter to the pot. Leave to melt, then stir in. Mash the potatoes very finely, then stir in the milk. I mashed my potatoes with a fork – my father has a special mashing tool, but I’m not that fancy.
2. Season to taste and set aside. I added lots of fresh ground pepper using my brand new pepper mill!
3. Tear the kale into strips, then blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain thoroughly. Read carefully the link I have provided about blanching – this is a bit tricky and an important step in maintaining the flavor and texture of the kale. Also, when tearing, the key is to remove the main stalks, which are coarse and difficult to cook. (Click here for a photo of collards that Claire separated from the stems, in a similar fashion.)
4. Heat the remaining butter in a frying pan, add the garlic and fry until starting to brown. Add the kale and toss carefully. This should only take a few minutes – you just want to get the kale coated in the butter and garlic. Take it off the heat when it begins to crisp.
5. Pre-heat oven to 345º F. Butter an oven-proof dish. Alternate layers of potatoes and kale, starting with kale and finishing with potato. It’s a mashed potato-and-leafy green lasagna!
6. Transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Serve as an accompaniment to a meat course or on its own, with a salad on the side. Goes great with pork or sausage.