Santo Patricio’s Colcannon
An Italian-Irish dish appropriate for Spring in many ways and quite tasty. Basic colcannon is mashed russet potatoes and boiled cabbage with butter, but I like it better with extra virgin olive oil, yellow spuds, stinging nettle, leeks, and cream.
Cook a couple of sliced leeks in olive oil with a good pinch of salt for a few minutes, then add three peeled yellow potatoes cut into rough cubes about 3/4 inch thick. Cook for about 10 minutes, letting the spuds brown just a bit, then add 1/2 cup heavy cream. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
While the potatoes are cooking, drop a bunch of stinging nettles into boiling water. Pull the greens out with tongs after about 30 seconds (heat neutralizes the chemical sting), drain, let cool, and chop about 2 cups or so finely. Save the rest (and the nettle broth) for another use, maybe fritters.
When the potatoes are done, stir in the nettles. Season with freshly ground black pepper, and check the salt. Cook for a minute or two, then serve hot drizzled with a little more extra virgin.