Colcannon With Crispy Leeks
An Irish dish of mashed potatoes and greens, colcannon is one of the most nourishing, comforting dishes you could make. The fried leeks aren’t traditional: Usually, the alliums are stewed more slowly in butter, if they’re used at all. But they lend a deeper flavor, and a crisp, savory finish. For a full meal, crown it with a fried egg or some smoked salmon, or serve a simple green salad on the side. (This recipe is part of the From the Pantry series, started in the days after the coronavirus lockdown.)
- Serves: 4 persons
- 2pounds any kind of potatoes, peeled if you like, cut into 2-inch chunks
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 2to 3 tablespoons butter, plus more as needed
- Olive oil
- 1cup sliced leeks or alliums of choice (shallots, onions, scallions)
- 2garlic cloves, sliced
- 2quarts of sliced sturdy greens (cabbage or kale, broccoli rabe, chard, collard greens or mustard greens)
- 2to 4 tablespoons milk or vegetable broth (optional)
- Fried egg, smoked salmon, or a simple green salad (optional)
Step 1In a medium pot, combine the potatoes with enough water to cover them by 2 inches and a large pinch of salt. Boil until tender enough to easily pierce with a fork, 15 to 25 minutes. Drain.
Step 2Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt butter, along with a drizzle of oil, then add leeks and a pinch of salt. Sauté over medium heat for 5 or so minutes. When the leeks are golden, spoon some out onto a plate to use for garnish.
Step 3To the leeks in the pan, add the garlic cloves, and cook them for a minute until fragrant. Then, toss in the greens. Season with more salt and cook, tossing them, until the greens are wilted and very tender. If the pan looks dry, add a splash of water.
Step 4Now add the potatoes to the skillet and mash them (so they’re either smooth or chunky), and add some milk or vegetable broth, if you like, and a lot of butter. Taste, and add more salt and lots of pepper. Scatter on the fried leeks and more butter to melt in little pools across the top.
Step 5Top with a fried egg or some smoked salmon, or serve a simple green salad on the side.