Colcannon is amazing! It’s a traditional Irish dish that comes in many variations. A delicious twist on mashed potatoes that adds some extra nutrition and flavor. Creamy, buttery mashed potatoes are mixed with kale, or another leafy green, such as savoy cabbage or spinach. It’s a great way to add some nutrient packed dark greens into your dinner in a side dish that everyone will love.
This dish has been served in Ireland and the surrounding areas for hundreds of years and has a lot of history. And for good reason, it’s delicious. There’s even a traditional song about it!
Mashed potatoes have always been one of my absolute favorite side dishes. I used to eat several pounds of it every Thanksgiving! But I had never heard of colcannon until recently, when Heather pointed it out, and just had to try it. We both loved it.
Colcannon and Irish Traditions
Colcannon has several interesting historical Halloween traditions in Ireland. For some reason, this dish was closely associated with marriage divination. One tradition was to hide small charms like thimbles and coins in the dish. Finding the charm was said to be a good sign of impending marriage. In another tradition, young women would put spoonfuls of colcannon in their socks and hang them on the handle of their front door. The first man to come through the door was supposed to be their future husband!
With so much history, it’s no surprise that there are a thousand variations of colcannon. For my version, I had to use spinach instead of kale. We just couldn’t find kale here in Playas del Coco. (Of course, we found some a few weeks later! Produce here is much more random than in the states.) I also add some sliced green onion for an extra kick of flavor and texture.
Since our kitchenware still hasn’t arrived yet, I did have to pick up a potato masher at the store. I would have preferred one like this Mix N’Masher, but I just picked up something cheap. It got the job done. If you don’t have access to a masher, Roasted Potatoes are also an extremely delicious side dish that I make often.
You’re welcome to, as always, Chef Around and use whatever combination of kale/savoy cabbage/spinach and green onion/chive/leek you like or can find. The idea and preparation are the same and the result is sure to be delicious!
For this colcannon recipe you will need: