You’ve Got Kale!

Well, that’s what my garden unexpectedly said to me earlier this week (does anyone even remember that early net reference?). I had given up on my rough draft attempt at a garden months ago, having produced only a few tomatoes, three enormous zucchini, and some herbs and lettuce. The paltry kale that had come up way back when had withered and died already. But lo! Mother nature gave me a reprieve, and I suddenly had a bounty of delicious greens to work with.

After simply sauteeing a bunch with garlic, I decided to make one of my most nourishing winter staple comfort foods: colcannon. It’s frequently made with cabbage, but kale is a legitimate variation, and I absolutely adore it. My version, honed over time, foregoes the cream and is actually vegan unless you decide to add in optional cheese at the end (which I confess I usually do, but it’s still mighty tasty without, in the more traditional version). It’s often made with leeks, which you could certainly use, but I substituted a large onion instead, to get maximum base flavor with minimal cost. I’ve also streamlined this recipe so as to use minimum pots with maximum efficiency.

KALE-CANNON

2 lbs potatoes – approximately 6 large ones (I prefer Yukon Gold), quartered*
1/4 cup white vinegar
large bunch kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 cup vegetable broth
1/8 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
salt and fresh black pepper to taste
1/2 cup sharp Irish cheddar (optional)

Cover potatoes with salted water and vinegar in a large pot and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, set the timer for 1o minutes and then add the kale, cooking for another 10. Drain pot and return to the stove, making sure it’s free of debris. Add olive oil, reduce heat to medium-high. When oil is hot, add onions and saute until softened and starting to brown a little. Add potatoes and kale back in, then pour in the vegetable broth and start a-mashin’.  I like leaving the texture a little chunky, but go with your preference. Season with nutmeg, and add salt & pepper to taste. If serving with cheese, mix it in just before serving.

Other colcannon renditions:

Karina’s Kicked-Up Colcannon
Colcannon Puffs (vegan)
Colcannon Purses with Parsley Sauce
Bubble & Squeak-style

*I also prefer leaving potatoes unpeeled, as a general rule, for both nutrition and texture, but if you prefer a purer white and don’t mind the work, knock yourself out!

— posted by Anne

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