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Recipe for boerenkool (kale with mashed potatoes) {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Boerenkool (kale with mashed potatoes), a traditional Dutch side dish. Versatile and gluten-free.

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), a vegetarian and gluten-free side dish.

Boerenkool (kale with mashed potatoes)

From the pantry, you'll need: sea salt, canola oil or butter, nutmeg, white wine vinegar, black pepper.

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)
Sea salt
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.

[Printer-frendly recipe.]

More mashed potatoes:
Mashed garlic sweet potatoes, from The Perfect Pantry
Kale and olive oil mashed potatoes, from 101 Cookbooks
Tex-Mex mashed potatoes, from Gimme Some Oven

Boerenkool (kale with mashed potatoes), an easy side dish. #vegetarian #glutenfree

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What a simple and delicious recipe! I love the combination of kale and potatoes. I just wish I could get my hands on some of that baby kale. It has yet to make it to Long Island.

TW, baby kale shows up sporadically in our markets here in Rhode Island. I always buy it when I see it, in hopes that sales will encourage the markets to stock it all the time. Of course any trimmed, chopped kale will work in the recipe.

Yum. We've been making Irish colcannon (with cabbage) but this looks even better!

Baby Kale is now stocked at Costco in New Mexico! It is always in my refrigerator.

Mary, I do love this version with kale, and when I can find baby kale, it's even better.

Candy, we still don't have Costco in Rhode Island, but they've opened one right next door to IKEA (how convenient!). I find baby kale from time to time in our local markets, too.

I grew up eating kale long before our non-Dutch neighbours even knew what it was, long before kale became a trendy food. We were always told you don't eat kale until it's been "kissed by frost". Even now, I throw mine in the freezer if it's too early for frost; it helps get rid of some of the inherent bitterness in kale. We used to eat it with gravy and a dollop of yellow mustard, and rookworst (smoked farmer sausage) on the side. I love it! My non-Dutch husband, however, doesn't so I haven't had it in years.

Ev, I'm intrigued by the idea of freezing the kale to remove bitterness. I never knew about that, but I'm going to try it. Thanks for the tip.

Lydia, I was surprised when my garden kale had been outside and froze that it was much sweeter, but never thought to do it with the freezer. I think baby kale doesn't need it but I bet it would make the larger kale leaves more appealing to some people.

Love this idea but (sigh) no potatoes for me until 2014!

Kalyn, now I'm definitely going to try freezing my kale when I don't buy the baby kale. Potatoes are a rare treat around here, too.

I make a similar dish for St Patrick's Day - we call it KALE-cannon!

Original Boerenkool was a heavy, fatty dish for farm folk of little money who needed a caloric blast to do their work. It had lots of fatty meat scraps and bacon fat to mix with the potatoes and kale. In Amsterdam I begged my friends to make it for me and they did but with a modern twist: turkey sausage and a bit of vegetable oil to go with the potatoes and kale. Still filling, still good, but a good bit lighter--leaving room for the Stroop Waffel!

Donna, very clever!!

Cousin Martin, originally this was a heavy dish. My version swaps oil for the butter, though it's good either way. And the sausage, which makes it a stamppot, can be any type you like, so turkey sausage would be great. And yes, dessert is key!

I've never heard of this dish, but I love the idea of kale + mashed potatoes all in one.

yummmmmm... I never met a green I didn't like and mixing it with mashed potatoes!! What is not to love there?! I bet this would be good with any hearty green or even spinach!

Hi! Great post!
Nice to see an interest in boerenkool from another country.
Traditionally the kale and potatoes are boiled on top of each other in a big pan, and on top of that a rookworst, a sausage which is smokey.
After somewhat twenty minutes your sausage is done and you mash up the potatoes and kale together.
I guess we don't like doing the dishes;)
Greetings from Holland

Thanks for this inspiring recipe! We're growing some great kale out here on Canada's west coast, where it's mild enough to over-winter. I've taken to a slight variation of this, just crusting up the par boiled potatoes in the pan and, yes, putting in some spicy Andouille sausage.

This recipe is authentic and traditional, but in Holland they often add bacon cubes (spek) and it is usually decked with a "rookworst" which is a Dutch smoked sausage in the shape of a horseshoe. Nice to see the recipe posted here; and as someone remarked, it is very similar to Irish colcannon, especially the way my Irish grandmother used to make it.

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