This dreamy potato dish is a traditional and iconic Irish recipe with a twist — typically Colcannon is made with sautéed cabbage or kale mixed into just-mashed potatoes. But since Swiss chard is so readily available at most farmers markets and super delicious and nutritious, let’s change things up just a bit! Oh, and after a few bites you will definitely want to add this to your Meatless Monday arsenal.
2 pounds of potatoes, Yukon Gold or Red Bliss work well
2 and a half cups of Swiss chard, tough ribs removed and finely chopped
1 half cup of butter
3 quarter cups of milk
salt and freshly ground pepper
I”ve made this a few times now and simply love it. Not that plain mashed potatoes aren’t divine, because they are. Divine. It’s an excuse to add plenty of butter and salt on top of creamy, dreamy potatoes. If that doesn’t make you hungry right this moment, click away now. You clearly aren’t from this planet. The addition of sautéed chard really bumps this up a on the savory level scale and *helps* rationalize using all that butter…
Yukon Gold are the preferable potatoes for this recipe. They are clean and moist and won’t need much peeling. But any fresh yellow or white potatoes from the farmers market or grocery bin will be good too. Wash and remove any blemishes and chop them into small pieces — small pieces boil faster and are easier to mash. (Note: Fill the pot with cold water and then add potatoes before turning on the heat to boil. Adding the potatoes to warm or hot water may cause them to come out mealy.)
While the potatoes are cooking, wash and chop the Swiss chard into thin ribbons. You may want to cut the head in half lengthwise if it is particularly large. (Tip: Set the stalks aside to use like celery for flavoring in your favorite soups.) In a saucepan, heat one tablespoon of butter. Add the Swiss chard and heat for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Heat the milk and remaining butter (Reserve a large pat to add to that well on top!) in a saucepan.
Once the potatoes are tender, drain and return to the pot. Irish recipes call for placing a clean tea towel over the potatoes to dry them better and help make fluffier mashed — it’s like a steam for your spuds. Leave the towel over them for five minutes then begin to mash the potatoes. By hand, a ricer or electric mixer is just fine. Add the hot milk and butter combination and mix until creamy.
Add the Swiss chard and mix in by hand. Add the salt and pepper now too.
Put the mixture into a serving bowl and make a small well on top and add the reserved pat of butter. Tradition says to dip each bite into the melted butter! Make a new tradition of your own – wouldn’t this be wonderful on the Thanksgiving table this year?!
Tradition doesn’t say this but it should be inferred, Sláinte or To Your Health! Enjoy!