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Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy’s Kitchen Prescription LLC


A Greener Irish Colcannon


Every culture has its comfort food, and colcannon is Ireland’s ~ a marriage of potatoes with kale or cabbage and, traditionally, lots of butter. Simple, warming, hearty, this plant-based reinterpretation loses the butter, milk and cream and builds layers of flavor not with fat but with aromatic onion, leek, garlic, scallions, and chives.


The aroma and taste are heavenly, and you have a soothing dish that not only doesn’t clog your arteries but it helps lower our carbon footprint, and is rich-tasting, creamy and anti-inflammatory. Skip the eggs, boiled ham and Irish bacon that traditionally shares colcannon’s table. Serve it instead with a tasty array of seasonal vegetables and doff your cap to Saint Patrick.


Prep time 30 minutes              Cooking time   30 minutes              Serves 3-5


3 pounds floury potatoes (5 medium). Scrubbed, whole and unpeeled

1½ pounds kale, lacinato kale, cabbage of other hardy greens, cut chiffonade (in thin ribbons)

1 large onion, diced

Dry vermouth or no-sodium veggie broth to deglaze pot

1 leek, well cleaned, diced

1 head garlic, dry roasted, peeled, mashed

1 bunch scallion anor chives, sliced

1 cup unflavored, unsweetened almond or other plant-based milk

Several big grinds of black pepper

Salt, if using, to taste


To dry roast garlic head, remove papery outer leaves. Bake in 375°F/190°C oven for 30 minutes. Cool. Peel. Mash to a pulp with a fork. Set aside.


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add greens and cook until tender but intact.  Transfer to a colander using a large slotted spoon or tongs. Set aside. Return pot to a boil and add potatoes. When it returns to a boil, lower to simmer and cook until tender but intact. Drain. Peel while hot, mash immediately. Set aside. Drain pot and dry.


Heat pot for 3 minutes over medium-low flame.  Add onions and leeks, stirring frequently. Cook slowly until onions sweat their liquid and soften. When they begin to darken the pan and adhere, deglaze pot with a few tablespoons of liquid. The onion and leeks should be very soft. Lower heat and add cooked greens, stirring, then smashed garlic, mixing well. Stir in potatoes and mix thoroughly, distributing the garlic and aromatics evenly in the potatoes and greens.

Greener Irish Colcannon

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