A plant-based spin on a traditional Irish dish, vegan cauliflower colcannon is the perfect side to make on St. Patrick’s Day. If you know me well, you know I’m a sucker for my Irish heritage. You know that I drool over Irish soda bread. You know that a good Irish ballad will bring me to tears. You know that I’ve never felt more at home during my travels than I did in Ireland. You know that I’m always down to party if Guinness and Jameson are around (preferable together in car bomb form). And you know that every year around St. Patrick’s Day, I invite friends over and make my favorite classic Irish dishes.
Last year, I switched up my regular Irish soda bread recipe for a Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread that was equally delicious but with an added nutrition boost. This year, I decided to make something that’s brand new to me altogether, colcannon.
Colcannon is a traditional Irish side dish made with mashed potatoes, cabbage, (and in true Irish cooking fashion) cream and butter. Apparently, according to Wikipedia, there is also a song about this dish. I kid you not. A line from the chorus goes like this: “Oh, wasn’t it the happy days when troubles we had not,And our mothers made Colcannon in the little skillet pot.” I know what you’re all wondering and the answer is yes, of course I sang the song while cooking it! 😉
I figured I would make my own vegan variation on the dish and use cauliflower instead of potatoes and kale ‘stead of cabbage. I added some leeks and nutmeg for a flavor punch and used almond milk and vegan buttery spread instead of cream and butter.
This dish was super satisfying and delicious. Hearty, filling and comforting. It was especially tasty since I kept tradition and put a wad of buttery spread in a well in the colcannon. Love the hint of green from the ribbons of kale too – so festive. I’ll definitely be adding this dish to my St. Patrick’s Day repertoire. Stay tuned next week for another green recipe!Print
- 1 medium head cauliflower, separated into florets
- 1/3 cup almond milk
- 4 tablespoons vegan buttery spread, divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 leek, trimmed, washed, and sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 small bunch kale, cut into small pieces
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat broiler.
- Steam cauliflower florets until fork tender and transfer to a food processor. Add almond milk and 2 tablespoons buttery spread and pulse to a smooth, creamy puree.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add leeks and cook for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Add garlic and cook another minute, or until fragrant. Add kale and toss to coat. Add water, cover and cook for 3-5 minutes. Remove cover and reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally. Cook for another 10-12 minutes, or until kale is tender. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Fold cauliflower puree into the kale mixture until combined. Transfer to a baking dish and make a small well in the center of the dish. Place under broiler for about five minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Place remaining buttery spread into the well. Serve immediately.
You may need to add a little more water to the kale if it’s starting to dry up while cooking.