This week’s seasonal veggie is kale. Kale is the wild and crazy cousin of cabbage. The primary difference between kale and cabbage is that its central leaves do not come together to form a head. Kale has very powerful antioxidant properties and can be used as an anti-inflammatory. High in vitamins K, A & C, lutein, beta carotene, folic acid and calcium, kale is a very powerful winter green.
I am spoiled daily with the delicious culinary musings created by my husband Kyle, a 5th generation Northern Californian and a talented cook from Irish decent. In our home I am charged with the “front-of-house” responsibilities of setting the table, tone and ambiance while he takes on the “back-of-house” challenges of dissecting, recreating and stylizing new and unique seasonal dishes made from this week’s bounty from the market. I typically do the shopping and together we write our weekly menu. This week we went to Ireland…
Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish that consists of potatoes with kale or cabbage. In this recipe we made it with two types of kale – green leafy kale and dino kale. I picked up the potatoes from David Little and the kale from Marin Roots Farm both at last Sunday’s Civic Center Farmer’s Market.
What you’ll need:
- 1 1/2 lbs potatoes – use whatever you like best in our case we used red potatoes
- 1 lb kale or cabbage – we used green leafy kale and dino kale
- 1 c whole milk – we used Straus Cream-Top Whole Milk
- 4 T butter – recommend Straus Family Creamery Organic European Style Butter
- 1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil – in this case I used Sorelle Paradiso EVOO
- 1/4 c minced scallions
- 2 large garlic cloves
- salt and pepper
Peel and quarter potatoes, and place in a medium saucepan; add enough cold salted water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes and return to saucepan.
While your potatoes are cooking you can prepare the kale. Rinse, pat dry and chop the kale. We removed some of the larger stems (tend to be a tad bitter) and did a rough chop. Heat up 1 T of olive oil and 1 T of butter in a saute pan. Add your kale – if you do not cook greens often you’ll be surprised how handfuls of greens cook down. Season your kale with salt and pepper.
Drain your potatoes and return to pot. Mash your potatoes while adding in the remaining butter, garlic, scallions and milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Combine the mashed potatoes and kale in a dish and serve.
Culinary Tip: Freeze your kale for a sweeter and more flavorful version of itself.
Check out this great how-to: How to Blanch and Freeze Kale
Did you know? According to Wikipedia, Kale, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical believed to have potent anti-cancer properties. Boiling decreases the level of the cancer compounds; however, steaming, microwaving, or stir frying do not result in significant loss. Along with other brassica vegetables, kale is also a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells. Kale is also a good source of carotenoids.