Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cauliflower, Turnips, Leeks, Garlic, Savoy Cabbage: Recipe for Colcannon - The Low Carb Way

All the wonderful winter vegetables listed in the title are still plentiful in markets and are a perfect way to celebrate the winter-into-spring season that we're enjoying right now.

Plus there's St. Patrick's Day to consider if you have a wee bit o' the Irish like I do, which is what I was doing when I came up with this idea. I love cauliflower, especially masquerading as mashed potatoes. And I wanted my cauliflower to have an Irish feel to it. The rest is, well, this recipe.
I already knew about colcanon, an Irish dish consisting of a mash of potatoes and members of the onion family plus kale or cabbage. Enter cauliflower. As many a low carb/low glycemic eater knows, cauliflower made into a mash serves as a delightful alternative to a mound of potatoes and is kinder to your waistline.

Crisp savoy cabbage adds a sparkle o' the green to this hearty, healthy dish.

Turnips, leeks and garlic all deepen the flavors, adding their roasted sweetness with every bite.

Low Carb Colcannon with Cauliflower, Turnips, Leeks, Garlic and Savoy Cabbage
Christine's original recipe
serves 8-10 as a side dish; 6-8 as a main with sausage
2 heads garlic
olive oil, divided
unsalted butter, divided
kosher salt to taste
4 turnips, peeled and cut into eighths
3 large leeks, white and light green part only, cleaned and cut into 1/2-inch slices
3 medium heads white cauliflower
1 medium head savoy cabbage

Cut tops off the heads of the garlic, peel away the outside paper down to what just covers the cloves and holds them together.
Place in a lidded oven-proof dish, drizzle with a small amount of olive oil, add a sprinkling of kosher salt and roast, covered, in a 350-degree oven for 1 hour. May be made ahead of time. Cover and keep in fridge.
Prepare the turnips and leeks, place in a roasting pan, dot with butter (approx. 1 tablespoon cut into pieces, or more, to your taste) and roast, covered, in a 350-degree oven until they are meltingly tender. Check periodically and lower the heat if they begin to burn. Loosen them from the bottom of the pan occasionally. May be made ahead of time. Let sit at room temp if making the entire dish on the same day, otherwise cover and chill.
Cut the cauliflower in florets and steam on the stove top, using a large pot and vegetable steamer, until they are very tender. Remove the florets from the steamer into a large colander and allow to drain. May be made ahead of time, same as above.
Heat a large pot of water to boiling.
Meanwhile, cut the savoy cabbage in half through the stem end. Using a sharp knife, remove the core from the end of each half. Cut the halves into quarters, or into pieces that will fit into the feed tube of your food processor.
Using the slicing blade, process each section of cabbage until they are all sliced.
When the water in the pot is boiling, drop the sliced cabbage in all at once and blanch it for one minute, possibly longer, just to tenderize the cabbage. It's ready to remove from its water bath just when it turns a brighter green and is slightly softened.
Drain the cabbage immediately through a large strainer set over a colander. Allow it to drain thoroughly.
As soon as the cabbage is done is when you will want to assemble the dish:
Using your food processor fitted with the regular blade, add the cauliflower, roasted turnips, leeks and garlic, and process until the mixture is smooth-ish, like whipped potatoes. I had to do this in several batches, removing the processed mixture to a large bowl as I went along.
Season the finished mash with kosher salt to taste.
Fold in the cabbage and mix well.
Mound into an ovenproof dish, dot with unsalted butter, and heat at 350-degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the mixture bubbles and the top is just golden brown.
Serve as a side addition to your Irish dinner, or pair it with your favorite fat, juicy sausage as a whole meal.

Bain sult as do chuid!

Copyright © 2005-2010, Christine Cooks. All rights reserved


  1. Love the sound of this recipe! Perfect for St. Patrick's Day.

  2. Hello dear friend!!

    What a tasty & yummie dish!!

    Another must try recipe of yours!!!


  3. Thank you Kalyn and Sophie. I'm having leftovers for lunch today. :)

  4. This recipe sounds so healthy and it looks beautiful. So does your new look.

  5. I have always wanted to make this dish ~ now I have a great recipe. I'm looking forward to meeting you at Camp Blogaway!

  6. Thanks for stopping by, Lynne. I'm happy that you like this recipe. I'm looking forward to camp also!


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