My Irish mother used to say, “Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.” So take advantage of the day by trying a traditional Irish dish.
One of my favorite Irish foods is colcannon, a potato mash and cabbage side dish. Add a protein such as tofu or cheese, and you’ve got a lovely vegetarian main course. It’s really quite easy – not much more trouble than making plain old mashed potatoes.
Be sure to wear green as you prepare this!
COLCANNON – makes 6 cups
- 1½ lbs russet potatoes, skinned
- 3½ T butter, divided
- 3/4 cup onions, chopped
- 2 cups green cabbage, sliced thin
- 1 tsp salt, divided
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Cut peeled potatoes into pieces so they cook faster. Add to boiling water and cook until easily pierced with a fork. Reserve 1 cup of the potato water, then drain potatoes. Return potatoes to the empty pot.
While potatoes are boiling, melt 1½ T of the butter in a saucepan. Add in onions and cabbage, and sauté until softened – about 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 tsp salt and set aside.
Melt the remaining 2 T butter and add to the hot, drained potatoes. Mash, using a potato masher or food mill. Pour in the cabbage mixture (heat, if it’s gone cold) and remaining 1/2 tsp salt. Add the reserved potato water, as needed, to achieve a creamy texture.
NOTE: Much as I love my food processor, DON’T use it to mash the potatoes – you’ll end up with paste!
To bring leftover colcannon back to life as leftovers, add a bit of the reserved potato water (or, just plain water or milk if you threw it out) and microwave.