Now that spring is on its way, I often long for meals with a fresh taste. Hearty stews and casseroles are nice during winter, but now the time has come for lighter dishes. This spring mash is a favourite of mine at the moment. It’s light, nutritious and very tasty!
I think making mash in all kinds of ways is a real Dutch heritage. Growing up, I ate a lot of this perfect, warming goodness. Not only plain mashed potatoes but also with an array of different veggies mashed in. Mash with kale is definitely the most traditional one. Served with a piece of smoked sausage, that is one of the best things to eat while watching an ice skating tournament. Can you think of anything more traditional Dutch than that?
But there are lots more options when it comes to making mash. You can really use almost anything that is in season at that moment. From andive to celery to green beans to carrot and apple, anything is possible! I particularly like this version with leek, as it has a fresh and subtly sweet taste. And since leek is available a big part of the year, that is another plus!
Spice it up!
Below I give you the basic recipe, and some ideas for variation. The mash is already very nice on its own, but sometimes you might want to show off a little, or you would just like to treat yourself to a more fancy dinner. For those times, there are the ideas to spice it up.
(Though actually, those versions are still so easy, you could make them any time!)
Spring Mash with Leek and Potato (serves two)
What you will need:
- 5 or 6 medium potatoes
- 1 large leek
- A splash of your favourite milk
- A pinch of salt
- Some pepper (can omit if using other add-ins)
- Peel and dice the potatoes/
- Rinse them, add water so that they are covered well and bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, wash and slice the leek.
- If the potato cubes are almost cooked through, add the leek and cook for another few minutes.
- When the potato is fully cooked, drain the potatoes and leek.
- Put back on the stove on low heat and mash it up.
- Add a splash of milk to make it come together. How much you will need depends a bit on the potatoes. Just start with a relatively small amount (two/three tablespoons) and add more as needed.
- Add salt to taste and mash in other add-ins if desired now.
- Try adding some (red) pesto for a spicy, Mediterranean effect.
- Add a handful of grated cheese for an extra creamy texture and taste.
- Use different types of milk for subtle differences in flavour. You could try varying with almond, rice and hazelnut milk. And I especially like using coconut milk, or rice milk with coconut, for an extra fresh, summery taste.
Enjoy your delicious meal of veggie goodness!