The combination of green cabbage, buttermilk or cream, potatoes and spring onions or leeks is believed to be one of the oldest dishes in northern Europe. In Ireland it is known as colcannon and is made with kale, not cabbage, because kale survived the harsh winter, especially in coastal areas. Kale has made a comeback in recent years, largely because it continues to survive the inclement and unpredictable weather. In some areas it thrives, improving its flavour.
- 1 kg potatoes, whole
- 500 g kale
- 10 spring onions (scallions) / green leeks, chopped
- 150 ml cream
- 100 g buttermilk
- 30 g butter
- Black Pepper
- Nutmeg (optional)
Soak the kale in cold then warm water to remove dirt and chase away the small spiders that love to weave their webs among its leaves. Leave to drain for half an hour. Remove stems, cut into leaves into strips. Bring to the boil in a little water, reduce heat and cook until al dente. Drain and retain water. Boil the potatoes in their skins in the kale liquid. Cook the spring onions in the cream over a low heat. In a heavy based saucepan mash potatoes with the spring onion mixture over a low heat. Add kale, seasonings and the buttermilk, blend with a wooden spoon until the mash assumes the colour of the greens. Serve heaped with a large knob of butter.
INDIGENOUS INGREDIENTS = Buttermilk | Kale | Potatoes | Scallions (Spring Onions)
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