If you have never tasted this classic pale green combination, you have
missed one of life’s great pleasures. The Irish have known about it for
at least a hundred years. They often used to serve it with a great bowl
of hot melted butter; spoonfuls of colcannon were dipped into the
golden liquid. Given today’s attention to the dangers of cholesterol, a
little added butter should suffice, but the old fashioned way was
In some Irish homes, colcannon and great
oatmeal griddle cakes made up the whole meal, but I like to serve it
with thick grilled lamb chops and lots of mint jelly or Cumberland
Makes 6 servings
1 pound darkest green kale, stemmed, chopped, and bo8iled in salted
water to cover until very tender, 15 to 20 minutes, and well drained,
pressing to remove excess water
3 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks, boiled in salted
water to cover until very tender, 15 to 20 minutes, well drained and
¼ to ½ cup milk, half and half, or heavy cream, hot
2 tablespoon butter, plus additional optional melted butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Put the potatoes through a ricer, or mash
them well with a potato masher.
Beat in the milk until the potatoes are
light and fluffy.
Beat the drained kale greens into the
potatoes (the kale will melt into a puree in the process).
Stir in 2 tablespoons of butter and
server very hot.
If you like, pass a small pitcher of melted butter. Each dinner can
make a small well in his or her serving and pour butter into it.
Variations: for even more flavor cook the kale in defatted chicken
stock. You can substitute Savoy cabbage or New Zealand spinach, also
called tetragon, for the kale.