Another name for this rich, flavorful dish is “Colcannon,” a traditional Irish favorite made of mashed potatoes and kale or cabbage. You can serve this right after mashing or bake it into a casserole; you can even use the leftovers to make delicious tater-tots!
Colcannon is traditionally made with only four ingredients: potatoes, butter, milk and kale. Instead of butter and milk, I have used a blend of cashews and water for richness, but see the Notes section below for alternatives. You can also use scallions or onions in this dish instead of leeks (my favorite). I added chives as well for a nice presentation.
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup raw, unsalted cashews (1 ounce), or see Notes
- 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 5½ cups)
- 1 cup chopped leek, white and pale-green parts (see photos below)
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 4 cups chopped green cabbage
- ¼ cup chopped fresh chives
- Place the water and cashews into a small blender jar and blend briefly; set aside.
- Place the potatoes, leeks, and granulated garlic into a soup pot and cover with water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high and boil for 8 to 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender but not falling apart.
- Add the cabbage, and continue to boil until the potatoes are very tender, 3 to 5 more minutes. Drain the water from the soup pot. Leave the cooked potatoes in the pot and set aside off heat.
- Blend the milk and cashews again until very smooth. Add this, along with the chives, to the pot, and mash with a potato masher. Serve hot as it or garnished with chives on top. (See Notes below for baking instructions.)
Kale: Instead of cabbage, feel free to use kale in its place (or a blend would be nice too).
Leek variation: Some recipes use white or yellow onions, or green onions (scallions) instead of leeks (but I think leeks provide the most interesting flavor).
Cashew option: If you don't want to use cashews for richness, feel free to substitute with a nut or seed that suits you better. Or you can also use a rich nondairy milk (like soy milk) instead of water and nuts/seeds. If you desire no added fat, just mash the potatoes with some of the cooking water that’s been saved before draining, or with some no-salt vegetable broth or stock.
Baking: I like mine unbaked, but if you want to bake this recipe, use a 2-quart casserole dish, and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.
Tater Tots: If you want to make tater tots out of any leftovers, form the mashed potatoes into small balls (or tater tot shape, kind of oblong; see photo below), and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Bake at 425°F for 20 minutes on the center rack. Remove and, with tongs, gently turn the tots over; bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are browned (see photo below). Serve hot with homemade, salt-free ketchup.
Above: The prepared and ready to boil potatoes, leeks, and granulated garlic.
Above: The sliced cabbage and chopped chives.
Above: How to prepare leeks in 3 steps! (1) Top image: first, cut away the root end and the other end of dark green, and discard. (2) Middle image: cut the large middle section lengthwise (and rinse clean if there is any dirt between the layers). (3) Bottom image: slice the lengths again and chop across to get smaller pieces. (And be sure to use a sharp knife so the knife doesn’t slip off of the leeks.)
Above: Hot and ready to serve!
Above: Leftovers baked into homemade tater tots (see Notes above for instructions).
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