Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cauliflower Colcannon

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Calcannon* is not just an odd word to say, it's a dreamy Irish dish that's usually made with potatoes, scallions and kale. Once upon a time it was a common meal in Ireland and in it's heyday was pretty much their mac and cheez. And why shouldn't it be? It's easy. It's good for you and it's actually a pretty great side dish but we decided to level it up anyways.

We replaced our beloved potatoes with cauliflower. For years, the low-carb disciples have been replacing mashed potatoes with this other white vegetable and as much as so many things that crowd does makes me shudder - this I can support. Cauliflower is a great source of potassium and has a considerable amount of vitamin C. In this recipe, it's combined with leafy green kale, nutritional yeast and leeks to become a vehicle for numminess.

If you're looking for something to enjoy with your vegan corned-beef and cabbage this St.Patrick's Day - well - here it is!

So let's get our calcannon on!

Cauliflower Calcannon 

  • 1 Head of Cauliflower (cut into small pieces)
  • 2 1/2 Cups Kale (chopped inton bite sized pieces)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 
  • 2 Dashes of Liquid Smoke
  • 1 Leek (thinly sliced)
  • 2 Small Scallions (diced) 
  • 2 Cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 1 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 teaspoon Rubbed Sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon Thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegan Sour Cream
  • Crushed Pink Himalayan Salt and Crushed Black Peppercorns to taste
  • Margarine to serve with your dish
In your largest stock pot or Dutch oven heat salted water to a boil. Then toss in your Cauliflower pieces. If you have a steamer, I would recommend using that instead but I've heard from many of you that you don't. Boil or steam your cauliflower till it's tender and then drain. Put your Cauliflower into a food processor and puree until smooth. 

Heat oven to 300. 

Don't rinse out your pot. Add Olive Oil and Liquid Smoke to the pot and heat over a medium heat. Once your Oil is hot, toss in your Leek, Scallions and Garlic and cook until your Leek and Scallion are tender. Then toss in your Kale and mix it into the hot oil. Then add your pureed Cauliflower, Nutritional Yeast, Sage,Thyme  and Vegan Sour Cream and mix with a large spoon until blended. Now give it a test taste. 

You'll want to add salt and pepper to taste at this point. You're going to be baking your Calcannon so add just enough Salt to taste it but when you bake off some of the moisture in your Calcannon, that Salt will become more potentate.  So keep that in mind. 

Move your Calcannon to an oven safe dish and put one tablespoon of Margarine on top. Bake your Calcannon for no more than 10 minutes. You just want to melt your Margarine and get a very slight crispy crust on top.  

Serve with more margarine and salt and pepper so everyone can season their serving like they would mashed potatoes and don't forget the green beer. 

*Pronounced:  cál ceannann


  1. This sounds so delicious. I remember my grandmother making this when I was little.

  2. Sounds so easy and delish! I'm not a personal fan of cauliflower but this sounds like one of those rare dishes which will make me want to savor it to the last spoonful.

  3. Colcannon still is a pretty common meal here in Ireland, especially at Hallowe'en. Every person I know seems to have a different colcannon recipe, but to me its just mashed potatoes with cabbage/kale, baked in the oven if I'm bothered! Its pretty adaptable. I love that you've made it with cauliflower, I'll have to give it go!

  4. I just discovered colcannon recently and this rendition looks and sounds delightful. And thanks for the link to the vegan corned beef. I'm not usually one to make foods to match the holidays but with all these great recipes, I may just have to slap on some green, talk in an Irish accent and make some of these dishes b/c they look so yummy!

  5. I start clinical rotations for school next week and have been looking for filling dishes I can make ahead that will store well during long days at the hospital. This is perfect! Definitely going to make it this weekend!

  6. made this tonight and it was all of the wonderful things i wanted it to be, except i think we could have doubled it! sooo good :) thx for sharing!

  7. Made this tonight! BUT I think my head of cauliflower was unusually small... didn't realize this until after I boiled and pureed it. So there were as many green things (green onion, leek, kale) as cauliflower, but it was still really tasty!!

  8. I made this for dinner tonight with cauliflower and kale from our garden! I added in a can of chick peas and a can of lentils, to make it a meal as opposed to a side dish.
    Wow! It's great. I will definitely be making this again. Loved that I could taste the cheesy-ness of the nutritional yeast too.
    Thanks so much for your wonderful recipes. xx