3 Great St. Patrick’s Day Sides
This post written by guest blogger—Bethany Mitchell
As far back as I can remember St Patrick’s Day has always been about wearing green. In grade school, this meant that if I didn’t wear green it was a pinch on the arm. When Full Circle asked me to suggest three perfect side dishes for St. Patrick’s Day, I was stumped. All that came to mind was a color. Then after a few days of writing down every green dish known to man, I decided to really research the topic.
For those of you who don’t know me, I hold a major in history and I love facts! In particular, I am very fond of the history and geography of food and culture. From my own culinary knowledge I knew that common Irish dishes usually consisted of potatoes, cabbage and root vegetables. However, I refused to boil some potatoes and call it a day. There had to be a more interesting way to cook them, while really keeping the authenticity of St. Patrick’s Day!
Potatoes were introduced to Europe by 16th century explorers. The French and then the Irish were the first to realize that potatoes could keep nations from starving. Based on linguistic evidence, ingredients and preference, Irish cultures utilized combinations of potatoes, cabbage and leeks. One dish that was popular in Ireland was called colcannon. Originally this dish was boiled potatoes, cabbage and kale mashed together and flavored with cream, onions and butter. So there I had it, my first dish! I did decide to “fancy” up the colcannon a bit, and here is what I came up with!
- 1 ½ lbs red potatoes
- 1 leek
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 Tblsp Irish butter
- ¼ tsp fresh nutmeg
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Roast diced leeks in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.
- Set them aside.
- Boil potatoes and them mash in a separate bowl.
- Add butter and cream slowly while mashing.
- Take the leeks and add them to the potato mixture.
- Add nutmeg and salt and pepper.
- Put in an oven safe dish and broil for color.
- Add tarragon for garnish. Enjoy!
Adapted from Martha Stewart
The second dish I made was going to have cabbage in it. I felt this was only fair since I had omitted it in the colcannon. Here is some interesting background to cabbage. Romans are said to have introduced cabbages to Europe, with the possible exception to Ireland where evidence suggests it was already known to Iron Age Celts [C. Anne Wilson/Food and Drink in Britain (1973)]. In Medieval Europe cabbage/cole were the foods of common man. That’s when it hit me, Cole slaw! Here is what I prepared.
- 2/3 cup Greek yogurt
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp poppy seeds
- ¼ cup flat leaf parsley
- 1 jalapeño
- ½ tsp celery salt
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 head of green cabbage
- 1/2 head of purple cabbage
- Put all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until blended.
- Thinly slice ½ head of green cabbage and ½ head purple cabbage.
- Pour into a bowl and then drizzle with dressing.
- Toss and serve! Delish!
Turnips became widely popular after the potato famine. With Ireland’s wet climate it’s the perfect place for growing turnips, making them popular on many farms. Like potatoes, turnips are cheap to purchase, easy to make and can be added to a variety of meals. I have to be honest; I have never had a turnip! I absolutely love vegetables but that one just got away from me somehow. Not to fear—I tried it and I loved them! This dish would look beautiful aside some corned beef.
- 4 turnips
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup fresh sage
- ½ cup fresh oregano
- ½ cup flat leaf parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Cut turnips diagonal in strips. Set aside.
- Add all the other ingredients to a food processor. Pulse.
- Pour over turnips in a bowl and toss.
- Put mixture on a cookie sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Yum!
Well, I hope one of these delicious St. Patrick’s Day sides makes it to your table!
Bethany Mitchell was born and raised in Alaska. She is a wife and mother of three and a full time Operations Manager at a Dental office. Bethany is a self-taught home cook, dabbling in the art of food photography and blogging and loves anything crafty. You can find more of her recipes on thecardamomblog.com