Colcannon (pronounced “CULkennan” with the accent on the first syllable), was a staple of the Irish farmer peasant’s diet – mashed potatoes with onion (or leeks) and cabbage. It was nearly a nutritionally complete meal since the potato and cabbage provide so many vitamin and minerals. I would imagine that eating it day in and day out would be a bit boring, but making it now with butter, cream or half and half, and your favorite green, it feels quite decadent!
If you’re celebrating Saint Patrick’s day make sure to check out The Daily Spud for a round up of Saint Patrick inspired dishes, including food and drink!
Since I had some mâche on hand (and it even mimics clover!) I used it instead of the traditional cabbage. Green cabbage definitely adds a touch of sweetness to it, but I was quite happy with my mâche substitution.
Mâche (pronounced “much”) is one of those greens that seems exotic (because it is uncommon) but is really just a better version of spinach, in my humble opinion. Raw or cooked it has a little more substance than spinach but a similar mild flavor. Raw mâche tastes similar to butter lettuce with a little more green flavor. Cooked, it is silky like spinach but it doesn’t disintegrate as much as spinach does. I buy it whenever it is available! Make sure to wash it well as it is one of those greens that often as some soil attached to its roots.
Colcannon with Mâche
1 medium onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 oz mâche, washed
4-5 red or yellow potatoes, cut in equal pieces
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup half and half or cream
Place potatoes in pot of boiling water and cook until tender. Mash with butter, half and half and salt and pepper to desired taste and consistency. Saute onion in olive oil and when translucent and soft, add mâche and allow to cook down, about 3-4 minutes. Add to mashed potatoes and incorporate well. Adjust salt and pepper (both greens and potatoes need plenty of salt so don’t skimp!)