When it comes to potatoes, I’d much prefer feast to famine – I’ve got three hungry teenage boys to feed at my house! As a side dish, frugally-priced potatoes fill my guys up and spare my pocketbook in the process – plus tubers are packed with wholesome nutrients including complex carbohydrates for quality energy and vitamins and minerals, especially iron, magnesium, vitamin B-6 and vitamin C.
This nutritional bang per buck, along with prolific growth ability on small plots of land, is what made the humble potato the unofficial national food of Ireland centuries ago. Before potato blight knocked out nearly all potato crops by the mid-1800s, the average Irish worker consumed 10 pounds of potatoes every day and approximately two-fifths of folks on the Emerald Isle were solely dependent on the potato as a life source. Horrific crop failures that lead to the demise of millions of people in Ireland will not be forgotten, even though the specific strain of fungus that created the historic tragedy is now extinct and potatoes are thriving once more.
To celebrate the plucky and persevering Irish culture, I’m sharing a “green” potato recipe for St. Patrick’s Day – Kale Pesto Potato Fries Two Ways with Blue Cheese Sauce. This quick and easy recipe was inspired by a traditional Irish potato dish called “colcannon” – a mixture of creamy mashed potatoes and kale. The pesto is a snap to make in the food processor, and can easily be done while the potatoes are baking in the oven – leaving lots of time to kick up your heels, you lucky leprechaun! And that leads me to the potatoes – you can use a spiralizer (or finely julienne) or cut into fatter wedges, it’s the cook’s choice!
Of course, nothing tastes more delicious with pesto-coated oven fries than a dunk or drizzle of bold and tangy blue cheese. I’ve kept serving simple and offer my Kale Pesto Potato Fries Two Ways with the Big Blue Dressing. This incredibly creamy and rich dressing is made with extra chunks of handcrafted Blue Cheese for maximum cheese-loving enjoyment-- and that’s no blarney!