Purple Kale Colcannon & Thyme and Honey Roast Carrots

Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish made with mashed potatoes “spuds” and cabbage or kale.  When I was a child we had spuds 7 days a week, to have mash was a treat and to have colcannon with lashings of butter was heaven!  This is traditional warming comfort food perfect for an Autumn supper. 

You’ll find the purple kale, new potatoes and carrots all in the Irish Farm Box this Sept ’22. 

Enjoy this one. 

Lou 🙂

Serves 4 

  • 800g New potatoes with skins on
  • 6 medium carrots 
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme- leaves picked
  • 1 drizzle of honey (local is best)
  • 200g purple kale 
  • 200ml milk
  • 50g butter for the kale
  • 50g butter for the potatoes – and extra to serve
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 180℃. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Begin by scrubbing the dirt off the potatoes in cold water. Chop into quarters or halves of similar size and steam until cooked through – roughly 40 minutes. You can boil them too if you prefer. (When you cook with organic veg keep the skins on that’s where the nutrients are)
  3. Likewise, scrub the carrots and pat dry. Chop in half lengthwise, toss in oil, salt pepper and lay on the baking tray, sprinkle with the thyme leaves and drizzle with honey.

The carrots: 

  1. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, or until cooked to your liking. 
  2. To prepare the kale, wash first in cold water. 
  3. Then pick the leaves from the stem and add to a mixing bowl. (Tip: You can reserve the stem and chop finely to add to a stir fry.)
  4. Once all the leaves are picked, take a handful of the kale, roll it up into a tight roll shape and finely chop it into bite sized pieces. 

To steam fry the kale. 

  1. Warm a wide pot, with a lid, on a medium heat. 
  2. Add the knob of butter and melt, then add 100ml of water to create steam. 
  3. Add all the kale at once, stir and put the lid on the pot. 
  4. Give the pot a shake to agitate the kale and wilt it, it will take 3-5 minutes for the kale to soften. 
  5. Add a small pinch of salt and mix. 
  6. When it’s cooked to your liking, take off the heat and set to one side.

The mashed potatoes.

  1. When the potatoes are fully cooked, tip them into a big pot or bowl. 
  2. Heat the milk and butter in a jug in the microwave for 1 minute or on the hob.
  3. Mash the warm potatoes along with the hot milk and butter, add a pinch of salt. The skins may get caught in the masher but keep on mashing until its creamy. Add more hot milk and butter if needed. 
  4. Fold in the cooked purple kale, taste to check the seasoning. 
  5. Take the carrots from the oven when they are roasted nicely. 
  6. To serve, add 3 or 4 carrots to a plate with a big spoon of hot colcannon, top with a knob of butter and a crack of black pepper!! 

There is nothing nicer. 🙂

Potato Hash w/ Roast Romanesco & Crispy Fried Eggs (serves 4)

A brunch dish bursting with goodness and flavour! Roasting veg is very satisfying. A potato hash with added veg made this way is very simple and uncomplicated, any left over veg can be use for dinner the next day #zerofoodwaste. Roasting veg brings out the natural flavour of the vegetable adding sweet and charred notes, made with gorgeous organic Irish grown veg…..well there is nothing better.

This dish was inspired by the Irish Farm Box. Its packed full of seasonal locally grown veg! You can make a version of this all through the seasons adding squash, broccoli, kale, courgettes, beets, carrots or parsnips too……just keep your hot sauce handy!

Lou 🙂

  1. Preheat your oven 180℃.
  2. Prepare 2 large roasting tins with parchment paper or silicone liners. 
  3. Wash the potatoes, give them a scrub until they are clean. 
  4. Chop into cubes roughly the same size, add to a mixing bowl. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and a good glug of oil, toss to coat. 
  5. Pour onto a large roasting tin and put into the oven to roast for about 1 hour, check and toss the cubes every 20 minutes. 
  6. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the veg, you can add the veg to the same mixing bowl. 
  7. Chop the romanesco into bite sized florets and chop the mushrooms into quarters. 
  8. Chop the onions into quarters but break up the layers, bash the garlic cloves with the back of a knife and add to the bowl. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper and coat with a tablespoon or two of oil. Toss to coat and add to the second roasting tin. 
  9. Put it in the oven to roast for about 30 – 40 minutes. Check halfway and give it a toss. 
  10. Finley slice the scallions and keep in a serving bowl. 
  11. Wash the spinach and roughly chop. Keep in a container with damp kitchen paper on top until later. 
  12. The cubed potatoes are ready when they pierce easily with a sharp knife and they look golden brown. The veg will be soft and slightly charred in places. Squeeze out the garlic cloves and serve or discard if you find the flavour too strong, they will have done their job to flavour the veg. 
  13. Fry the eggs to your liking (2 per person) on a frying pan, cook on a medium to high heat for crispy fried eggs. 
  14. Reheat the potatoes on a frying pan along with the veg and at the last minute toss through the chopped spinach. (You could reheat in the oven also and stir through the spinach)
  15. To serve, add the potatoes and veg to a plate or wide bowl, top with 2 fried eggs, sprinkle on the chopped scallions and add your favourite hot sauce. 

This is a delicious dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner! 

Beetroot, Potato & Horseradish Gratin

One of the best comfort foods on Earth is a creamy potato gratin dauphinoise. Thin slices of potato baked with garlic, nutmeg and cream is pretty much unbeatable. But we often mix the potato with other root veg or squashes, depending on what’s in season. (French people look away now!) Here’s one of our favourite variations with beautiful beetroots and fiery horseradish. Do you make variations of dauphinoise? What’s your best combo?

So what do you eat gratin with? It’s traditionally a side dish to go with meat and we often have a gratin in place of roast potatoes as part of our Sunday dinner. But it’s special enough to be the main event and we often just pair it with some simple steamed greens and a hearty lentil salad. Rich, soft and creamy meets fresh, crunchy and tangy!

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

I have deliberately put approximations here as a gratin is a very fluid thing and the amounts depend on the texture of the vegetables as they cook, the size and depth of your roasting dish etc. Making a gratin is very forgiving too so just go by eye with amounts. You want to make enough to fill a medium roasting dish, the vegetables will shrink as they cook.

  • potatoes – approx 5 medium sized, scrubbed
  • beetroot – approx 5 medium-large, peeled
  • olive oil – approx 6 tbsp
  • garlic – 2 cloves, peeled
  • salt and pepper – to taste (I used 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper)
  • oat milk – approx 250ml
  • nutritional yeast – approx 6 tbsp
  • fresh grated horseradish (or horseradish sauce) – to taste, I used about 4 tbsp fresh grated

Method

  1. Pre heat the oven to 180C. Find a deep, medium roasting dish and some tin foil (or a casserole dish with a lid).
  2. Thinly slice your potatoes and beetroots using a food processor, mandolin or a large, sharp knife. Try and keep the slices an even thickness, ideally around 3-4 mm thick. Put the slices in two separate bowls or mix them up in a large bowl, depending on if you would like to make layers or not.
  3. Divide the oil and seasoning between the bowls, then using a fine grater, grate the garlic over the vegetables too. Using your hands, mix the oil and seasoning evenly throughout the sliced vegetables.
  4. Layer the vegetables as you like. Mixed up or in neat layers, whatever you fancy! If you want separate colours, start with the beetroot then top with the potatoes. If the beetroot goes on top then all the colour will seep into the potatoes as they cook, which is fine too of course. Cover the dish with tin foil or a lid and place in the oven to bake until soft throughout. This usually takes about an hour and a half depending on the size and depth of your dish. Insert a small knife or skewer to test if the veg are done, there should be no resistance.
  5. Meanwhile mix the oat milk, nutritional yeast (this will enrich the milk and give it a savoury, creamy flavour) and grated horseradish. Horseradish looses it’s potency a fair bit as it cooks so it’s better to add it at this stage rather than at the beginning.
  6. When the vegetables are soft remove the lid/foil and pour over the milky mixture. You want to be careful here not to cover the vegetables, the liquid should stay below the top layer, otherwise your gratin will be a bit loose and not stick together nicely. Return to the oven without the lid and bake for another 15 minutes or until the gratin is hot through and starting to brown on top.
  7. Remove from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes or so to set. Then slice or serve in scoops and enjoy!

A Plastic Free Christmas?

Is it possible?

Here in Ireland we need to do much better on plastic, we are at the bottom of the European league tables when it comes to plastic waste per person. By 2050 there will be more plastic than fish by weight in the oceans.

On our farm and in our business, we have spent 3 years looking at our processes and removing plastic where we can. In contrast to the green washing of most of the larger retailers who have promised and yet have not delivered we are doing what we say.

We do not use plastic in any of our seasonal set boxes, we use paper, and we collect and reuse our boxes, this is a fundamental cornerstone of our business. We realise that paper too has its own carbon cost, and we are looking at ways of trying to reduce that further. It bothers me a bit though, when the idea of using a paper straw instead of a plastic one constitutes progress, it is a small step, but it diverts attention from the real issues, such as the large scale use of plastics in the food industry.

The strain that humankind’s excessive consumption is putting on our planet is eye watering and for the environment and biodiversity the price is too great. We all need to consume less, whether it be plastic or otherwise.

I recognise the irony of encouraging less consumption and at the same time trying to sell our organic veggies boxes. But I have no shame in this, we run a sustainable business, we employ a lot of people in a worthwhile industry we grow local organic food and support so many other small scale Irish organic producers too and in order to pay them we need to sell boxes.

Everybody needs to eat, and it is impossible to assess the environmental credentials of most food businesses. This Christmas and new year if you want to know your food has been sourced and grown sustainably then throwing your lot in with us for your food is the right thing to do.

Our Christmas boxes and many other lovely Christmassy things (gift vouchers, wine hampers, original art and many eco-hampers) are available on our website, and they will be delivered the week beginning the 20th of December. The boxes are brimming with organic local (where possible) freshly harvested sustainable food.

We can deliver by courier all over Ireland and if you can place your order by the 12th you will be entered into a draw for an amazing hamper, it also guarantees you a delivery slot on Christmas week and helps us out immeasurably with harvesting.

If you want the most amazing fresh ingredients and also keep Christmas plastic free, local and sustainable then get a delivery from us this year.

Thank you for your support.

Kenneth