For years before I started blogging, I wrote for newspapers and magazines. My stories introduced readers to my neighbors through the food they cooked, most often recipes they carried with them from their family heritage, or from their home countries. Betta lived on the block where I worked in Boston's South End. Born in British Borneo to Dutch parents who moved the family back to Holland when she was a young girl, Betta taught me to make boerenkool stamppot, a traditional Dutch dish of kale with mashed potatoes and sausages. I thought about that combination recently when I came across some leftover mashed potatoes in my refrigerator, and I adapted her recipe a bit to show off some beautiful baby kale from the market. Boerenkool, which means "farmer's cabbage", makes a hearty side dish for any roast or grilled meat, poultry or fish; turn it into a traditional stamppot by serving with your favorite sausages (I served mine with some tri-tip). Betta tops her kale and potatoes very nontraditionally, with a dollop of cranberry sauce.
Boerenkool (kale with mashed potatoes)
Serves 4-6; add optional 3/4 lb sausage (any type) for a traditional stamppot.
4 lbs organic potatoes, peeled and cubed (I use Yukon Gold)
2-1/2 lbs kale, washed, stems removed, shredded (I used tender baby kale, stems and all)
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil, or 3-4 Tbsp butter
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp soy milk (or regular milk)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
Fresh black pepper, to taste
Place the peeled and cubed potatoes in a pot with 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, and cover by 1 inch of water. Bring to the boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
While the potatoes are cooking, trim, wash and chop the kale (I use baby kale, which doesn't need to be chopped). Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil, and the kale, in batches if necessary. Sauté the kale for 2-3 minutes, until wilted and tender. Stir in the nutmeg and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside.
When the potatoes are cooked through, drain the water, and return the potatoes to the warm pot. Mash while still hot (a hand masher works best) with the remaining canola oil or butter and milk. The potatoes should be very smooth.
Mix the kale into the mashed potatoes. Add white wine vinegar, and stir to combine. Taste, and season with sea salt (if needed) and black pepper. Serve hot.
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