Traditionally considered a peasant dish, Colcannon brings together a hearty pairing of mashed potatoes and kale. For our elegant interpretation of this classic comfort food, nourishing cavolo nero—sautéed in butter with leek and garlic until tender and then finished with a sprinkling of lemon zest—joins a seasoned blend of russet potatoes enhanced with Parmesan cheese. The truly satisfying side draws attention in its own right but also complements a wide variety of main courses.

Makes 6 to 8 servings
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • ½ cup butter, divided
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch cavolo nero*, thinly sliced
  • 1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  1. In a large saucepan, bring potatoes and water to cover to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are very tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Drain potatoes, and return to pan. Add ¼ cup butter, cream, and cheese. Mash with a potato masher until desired consistency is reached. Stir in salt and pepper.
  3. In a large skillet, melt remaining ¼ cup butter over medium heat. Add cavolo nero, leek, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until cavolo nero is wilted and very tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in lemon zest. Add cavolo nero mixture to potato mixture, stirring to combine.
*A member of the kale family used often in Italian cooking, this dark-green, leafy heirloom is also known as Lacinato kale, Tuscan kale, and black kale.


For more St. Patrick’s Day recipes, see “Luck of the Irish Table” in the March/April 2019 issue, available on newsstands and at

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