Happy (Post) St. Patrick’s Day!

I trust you all stayed safe yesterday and for those who are Irish, or of the Irish heritage, spent time this weekend with loved ones. For those who are unaware of the true St. Patrick’s story, the phrase, “St. Patrick found Ireland all heathen and left Ireland all Christian” is a fair summary of his life and work in the nation he believe he was called to. For further (brief) reading about his life can be found here.

We spent yesterday morning at church and enjoyed a long walk outdoors in the afternoon sun. It was a beautiful day for such and a brilliant day for a simple dinner of fresh earthy vegetables. Colcannon was on the menu and it did not disappoint. It was something I had always heard about, but never had. Sure the recipe was plain, but the meal itself was vibrant and flavorful.

A friend recently blessed me with some beautiful fresh kale from her garden since she knows I really enjoy it. That’s what ultimately drove/inspired this recipe choice. The simplicity and healthfulness of the ingredients, while still being comforting and delicious, were a winning combination in my book. The bright green kale swirling in a sea of creamy, buttery white potatoes was a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. Finishing the dish with flaked sea salt (such as Maldon), light dustings of white pepper, and additional butter take the flavor to a different depth.

I was using a recipe out of David Bowers’ Real Irish Food: 150 Classic Recipes from the Old Country and in the description he mentioned that it was typically served at Halloween (Samhain – pronounced SOW-ann), but having made the traditional corned beef in the past, I wanted to try something different. Another thing noted in the description was that although the name comes from a phrase meaning “white-headed cabbage,” due to the abundance of curly kale showing up in the area markets around Halloween, it has been used in place of cabbage (same vegetal family) for generations now.

The recipe makes so much that even cutting it in half left a ton of leftovers. This is perfect for a morning-after breakfast reheat with “bangers” (sausages) for Bangers & Mash. What is one dish you’ve always heard about, but never tried?

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