In colcannon, the classic Irish recipe, potatoes, cabbage, and/or kale are lightly browned in a skillet. In this vegan version, both kale and cabbage are used, as well as a generous amount of scallion.
Easy to veganize: In the traditional recipe, butter and milk are used, which we replace with olive oil and plant-based milk. It’s a simple yet tasty dish that features a lot of green!
A good choice for St. Paddy’s Day: For vegans and vegetarians, there aren’t many customary Irish dishes to serve for St. Patrick’s Day, so this would be the one to choose. You need not save it for this or any other special occasion, though.
Leeks can be used in place of scallion: I’ve also used leeks in this dish in place of scallion, which are quite good too, though they involve a bit more prep. Feel free to try this with leeks; start cooking them at the same time as cabbage and kale in step 2 of the recipe.
If you’re interested in some background, here’s a thorough history of colcannon.
- 4 large russet potatoes or 6 medium red-skinned or golden potatoes (about 3 pounds)
- 3/4 cup plain unsweetened plant-based milk, or as needed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
- 8 ounces kale (regular or lacinato), stems removed, thinly sliced
- 6 or 7 scallions, white and green parts
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Cook, bake, or microwave the potatoes in their skins until easily pierced. When cool enough to handle, peel, cut into large chunks and place in a bowl. Mash coarsely and stir in the plant-based milk.
- Heat half of the oil in a large skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the cabbage, kale, and white parts of the scallions. Sauté, stirring often, until the cabbage and kale soften up a bit. The kale should remain bright green. Add small amounts of water to keep the bottom of the skillet moist if need be.
- Turn the heat up to medium-high and stir in the potatoes and green parts of the scallions. Cook without stirring until the bottom of the mixture gets nicely browned. Stir and allow more of the mixture to brown.
- Stir in the parsley, Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.
Variation: Leeks can be used in place of scallion, though they involve a bit more prep. Chop the white and palest green parts of 2 medium leeks; make sure to rinse them thoroughly to remove grit. Start cooking them at the same time as cabbage and kale in step 2 of the recipe.
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