This nourishing Irish dish is known in England as “bubble & squeak” and can be traced back to the Middle Ages. This version is vegetarian but crisp bacon or chopped leftover ham can be added. We are using kale but any green such as spinach or collards is equally wonderful. See the bottom of the recipe for more variations. Have fun… you can’t go wrong. This is comfort food at its best.
2-3 lbs potatoes of your choice, peeled or not & cut into large chunks
Salt & Pepper
6 Tbs unsalted butter (plus an optional half a stick more for serving)
2-3 bunches of kale, chard, cabbage, washed & cut into large chunks
1 bunch of green onions (scallions), minced
1 cup of milk or cream
1. Put the potatoes & 2 Tbs of salt in a medium pot with enough cold water to cover by at least one inch. Bring to a boil & cook until the potatoes are fork-tender (15-20 minutes). Drain in a colander.
2. Return the pot to the stove & set over medium-high heat. Melt the butter in the pot & add the greens. Cook the greens for 2-3 minutes (less for spinach, more for the heavier greens) until they are wilted. Add the green onions & a generous amount of black pepper & cook for a minute more.
3. Add the potatoes & milk or cream to the pot & reduce the heat to medium. Using a potato masher or heavy wooden spoon stir & mash everything together. Taste & add more salt or pepper if necessary.
Serve the colcannon hot on a large plate or bowl (pre-warmed if possible). Make a well in the center for the additional butter.
Make your own combination of potatoes, greens & onions. Of course you can substitute any kind of non-dairy products for the cream & butter. Here are some suggestions below.
Potatoes Greens Onions
Russet Kale Scallions
Yellow Finn Collards Fresh Chives
Red Skin Mustard Red Onion
Yams or sweet potatoes Spinach Sweet White Onion (ie. Videlia)
Parsnips for ½ of the potatoes Cabbage (red or green) Sauteed Leeks