Johan’s Mother’s Kale & Potatoes

We used to get our Thanksgiving turkey from a local Dutch farmer named Johan.  That was when he raised them himself on his farm and we could come pick ours up on the day he slaughtered them.  Those days are gone now.  Johan is older and family members who used to help have moved away.  One of the side benefits of visiting Johan was that he also sold his garden vegetables on a table by the door.  I didn’t need his vegetables but he gave me a kale recipe that he got from his mother which he had included in his bags of kale.  I was always looking for ways to use this most nutritious offering of my fall garden and the recipe has become a staple.  I have added my own touches and use my curly kale for this (Winterbor).  It lasts longer into the winter and retains more body after cooking than the Red Russian.  You can make this into a one dish meal by adding cooked sausages or kielbasa.

  • Johan’s Mother’s Kale and Potatoes

    This is Winterbor, a curly leaved kale.

    This is Winterbor, a curly leaved kale.

    (as adapted)

  • 1 large potato and 4 or 5 leaves of kale per person
  • 2 Tbsp. butter per person
  • 1/4 C. 1/2 & 1/2 per person (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil per person
  • Salt, pepper, minced garlic to taste

Boil the potatoes in their skins until they can be pierced with a knife.  Peel and mash with butter salt & pepper and 1/2& 1/2 (if using).  Essentially mash the potatoes as you would do but season them aggressively.  Meanwhile, remove center stems from the kale leaves, blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes (timed from when you put the kale in the water) and drain.  Chop the kale into smallish pieces (no larger than 1″ square) and saute with the minced garlic in the olive oil for about three minutes.  Add kale to potatoes, mix well, test for seasonings and reheat if necessary.

The finished dish.  I like the potatoes mashed coarsely rather than pureed.

The finished dish. I like the potatoes mashed coarsely rather than pureed.

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