Colcannon—potatoes mashed with cabbage or kale and lots of butter and cream—is so ingrained in Irish culture that it even has its own folk song ("Oh, wasn't it the happy days when troubles we had not / And our mothers made Colcannon in the little skillet pot"). And since its simple components lend to all sorts of variation, it makes the perfect base for a St. Patty's Day–inspired pizza.
In this version I used red cabbage and parsley for color, along with smoked bacon and blue cheese to punch up the flavor. (I didn't realize it until I uploaded the picture, but this combination created an extra-Irish, rainbow-hued pie.) Of course, if you want to be super traditional, go with green cabbage or kale instead of the red cabbage, ham instead of bacon, and Irish Cheddar instead of blue cheese. Just make sure you don't pile on too many toppings, or you'll have to eat your pizza with a fork and knife.
Colcannon Pizza (with mashed potatoes, cabbage, bacon & blue cheese)
Makes one 12-inch pizza
- 1 pound Yukon gold or russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ small red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
- ¾ cup whole milk, plus more as needed
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 slices thick-cut smoked bacon, chopped
- 1 (14- to 16-ounce) ball Basic Pizza Dough (or pre-made dough)
- ¼ pound (4 ounces) blue cheese, crumbled
Place your pizza stone (if using) on an oven rack about 8 inches from the broiler. If you plan to cook your pizza on a baking sheet, place a rack in the middle of the oven (you do not need to preheat the baking sheet). Preheat the oven to 500°F and let it heat up for at least 30 minutes while you make the dough and/or prepare the toppings.
To prep the toppings: Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover them by 1 inch with cold water. Set the pan over high heat and bring the water to a boil; boil the potatoes for 10 to 12 minutes or until they are very tender.
Drain the potatoes and set them aside. Using the same pan, melt the butter over medium heat. When the butter is completely melted, add the cabbage and cook, stirring frequently, until it is soft and wilted, 5 to 7 minutes. Pour in the milk and 1 tablespoon of the parsley, bring the mixture to a boil, and then dump in the potatoes. Remove the pan from the heat and mash the potatoes with a potato masher until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (You want the potatoes to be thinner than regular mashed potatoes, because they will create the "sauce" of the pizza. Add more milk as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the potatoes seem spreadable.)
In a small skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until it just begins to crisp at the edges, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate to drain.
To stretch/roll out the dough: Dust the ball of dough with flour and place it on a well-floured work surface. Using your hands or a rolling pin, gently stretch or roll the dough into a 12-inch disk.
If you’re using a pizza stone: Dust a pizza peel or the back of a baking sheet generously with flour or cornmeal. Place the dough disk on the prepared peel.
If you're using a baking sheet: Spray the baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the dough disk on the prepared baking sheet.
To top the pizza: Spoon the potato mixture onto the dough and spread it evenly, leaving a ½-inch border all around. (Note: You might not need all of the potatoes. Just use enough to create a thin, even layer, around ¼ inch thick.) Scatter the bacon on top of the potatoes and then sprinkle on the cheese.
To bake the pizza: If you're using a pizza stone, 10 minutes before you are ready to cook the pizza, increase the oven heat to broil. Slide the pizza from the peel (or inverted baking sheet) to the hot stone using quick shimmying movements. Broil the pizza for 5 to 7 minutes (3 to 5 minutes in a gas oven), until the bottom of the crust is crispy and the top is blistered. Using the peel or inverted baking sheet, transfer the cooked pizza to a cutting board. If you are making more than one pizza, allow the pizza stone to reheat under the broiler for 5 minutes before you cook the next one.
If you're using a baking sheet, do not increase the oven to broil. Place the baking sheet on the rack in the middle of the oven and bake at 500°F for about 10 minutes, until the crust is crispy and the top is blistered.
Let the pizza cool for at least 5 minutes, then sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley; slice and serve.