I started a garden this year—my first—and so far I'm really impressed. Not with myself, but with the seeds I planted—with how everything has actually come out of the ground and turned into food. One of my most anticipated and favorite crops is lacinato kale, also known as black Tuscan kale, a less curly, darker version of the vegetable. For most of the season, it wasn't doing well and bugs were eating holes in the leaves. But over the last couple weeks, my single plant has really taken off, and I've been able to harvest a bit now and then.
Of course, my entire plant has hardly as many leaves as the typical store-bought bunch. So rather than blow it all on one side dish, this kale and olive oil mashed potatoes recipe from 101 Cookbooks was my outlet: naturally creamy Yukon gold potatoes are smashed with a little warm milk, leaves of kale are chopped, sautéed with garlic, and folded into the potatoes, and a little bit of olive oil is mixed in instead of the more typical butter. A sprinkle of Parmesan makes it luxurious, and chopped scallions and shallots top it off with allium flavor.
About the author: Blake Royer lives in Brooklyn and spends most of his free time cooking and writing about it here at Serious Eats and on The Paupered Chef. From 9 to 5 weekdays, he works as an assistant book editor in Manhattan.
- Yield:2-3 as a side
- 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Leaves from 1/2 bunch kale
- 1/3 cup warm milk or cream
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 scallions, white and tender green parts, chopped
- Freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 small shallot chopped (the original recipe calls for fried shallots)
Bring a pot of salty water to boil, large enough to hold the potatoes comfortably. Boil the potatoes until tender, about 15-20 minutes.
In the meantime, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat, then add the garlic, kale, and a pinch of salt. Sauté until just tender, 1 minute.
Drain the potatoes and return them to the pan. Mash them with a fork or potato masher, then begin stirring in the milk while incorporating. Add milk, heating extra if necessary, until desired creamy texture. Taste for salt and add freshly ground pepper.
When ready to serve, stir in the kale, transfer to a serving dish, and drizzle the remaining olive oil on top. Top with Parmesan, scallions, and shallots if using.