Sunday, June 20, 2010

Kale and Mashed Potatoes

More on the subject of kale. I know lots of people have never tried it (I never did until relatively recently), but I've come to think of it as one of my favorite cooked greens. It lasts a lot longer in the fridge than spinach, and doesn't have that metallic aftertaste that spinach does (is it the oxalic acid?). I've even had a delicious salad made with raw kale mashed with avocado; I'll have to try to get that recipe. This one comes from a blog recommended to me by CC: 101 Cookbooks - so far I've really loved the recipes I've tried from it. This one is pretty easy to like.

Kale and Olive Oil Mashed Potato Recipe

For this recipe, be sure to wash the kale well (or spinach, or chard) - dirt and grit hides in the leaves. I don't like floppy leafiness in my potatoes, so I chop the kale quite finely. If you stir the kale in too much it can lend a slight green cast to your potatoes, so i just barely stir it in right before serving. Also, on the potato front - feel free to use unpeeled potatoes if you like something a bit more rustic (and nutritious). I picked up some yellow-fleshed German Butterball potatoes at the market last week and they added the visual illusion that the mashed potatoes were packed with butter. Didn't miss the real thing a bit.

3 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
sea salt
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch kale, large stems stripped and discarded, leaves chopped
1/2+ cup warm milk or cream
freshly ground black pepper
5 scallions, white and tender green parts, chopped
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, for garnish (opt)
fried shallots, for garnish (optional)

Put the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Add a pinch of salt. Bring the water to a boil and continue boiling for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, chopped kale, a big pinch of salt, and saute just until tender - about a minute. Set aside.

Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or fork. Slowly stir in the milk a few big splashes at a time. You are after a thick, creamy texture, so if your potatoes are on the dry side keep adding milk until the texture is right. Season with salt and pepper.

Dump the kale on top of the potatoes and give a quick stir. Transfer to a serving bowl, make a well in the center of the potatoes and pour the remaining olive oil. Sprinkle with the scallions, Parmesan cheese, and shallots.

Serves 6.


  1. You are a kale maven. Any similar ideas on what to do with beet greens? Can they be substituted in these recipes for the kale? Brian and I are drowning in beet greens

  2. Ah, well, I'm not yet very fond of beet greens. I've successfully used them in stuffed potatoes, but they turn the potato filling a bit pink. Also they're ok sauteed with a little olive oil and tossed with toasted pine nuts and some raisins. You could throw them into something like zucchini soup - that's a recipe I need to post. And here's a link to a recipe that uses beet greens which I wanted to try:

  3. 3 years later I can say I really enjoyed eating some beet green tacos this summer. Just saute some onion, add the beet greens and cook until just tender, then serve with warmed tortillas, some queso fresco, and a smear of really smoky hot sauce, like chipotle or Oaxacan pasilla.