Revive Your Sad Salad Leftovers By Mixing Them Into Mashed Potatoes

Despite our good intentions, many of the fresh and healthy ingredients we intended for a salad have begun to wilt inside the refrigerator. Though not a complete lost cause, they're not crispy enough to bolster a satisfyingly crunchy salad. So how should you save your salad greens beyond adding them to the compost pile? Follow the Colcannon rule and turn them into a mashed potato medley for the ages. 

For the uninitiated, Colcannon is an Irish potato dish that incorporates sautéed cabbage (sometimes kale) and green onions into the creamy mashed potato vortex. Though cabbage is a brilliant addition, you can easily apply this recipe to many other greens, including spinach, arugula, and watercress. Anything you have languishing in the crisper drawer is fair game to incorporate into your mashed potatoes. It's a win on multiple counts; your mashed potatoes get a boost of color, vitamins and minerals, and flavor. 

When mashed potatoes go green

To start your veggies and mash adventure, begin with an epic mashed potato recipe, specifically one plain enough for your greens to shine. Next, consider what greens you'd like to incorporate and whether they need a quick sauté to soften them up. If you're working with hearty cabbage or Tuscan kale, opt for a pan sear to smooth the rough edges. The more tender leafy greens won't need that kind of prep, as they can gently wilt into the piping hot mashed potatoes. One exception is spinach, which, although tender, may benefit from a cook to remove excess moisture before stirring into your mash — a watery purée is the least desirable outcome.  

From there, consider adding complementary cheese and spices to take the dish to the next level. A dash of crushed red pepper will turn up the heat on spinach-packed mashed potatoes, while a touch of lemon zest and parmesan can enhance a kale-forward mash. Other vegetables (preferably steamed or sautéed) are also fair game, including green peas, broccoli, asparagus, and any allium under the sun. Imagine the bright delights of a mashed potato and pea salad with mint and asparagus. As long as you have some potatoes, you have an edible way to salvage those still-beautiful greens.