Someone recently commented on some social media feed of mine somewhere that St. Patrick’s Day always brought around reams of really gross looking food. Gross because they had been dyed an unnatural shade of green just to keep in line with that whole Irishness thing. The bit stuck with me because – yes, most of the food being touted around this time of year does look pretty gross. Like Green Beer, which may be one of the most disgusting ways to show your affinity for a nation I’ve ever heard of.
BUT, at the same time, it’s not like green ISN’T a natural color for food – and there are plenty or pretty awesome ways to play around with green on a plate, like these recipes below (I should mention that I’m not Irish. Or, I guess more specifically for this holiday, not Irish American. I’m also not particularly into the whole mythos surrounding St. Patrick’s Day, but I will take about any excuse to chug a Jameson’s and yell “woo” in a bar):
I’ll start with an ACTUAL Irish recipe: Colcannon! Which I’ve now fallen in love with after encountering it at The Marquis Cornwallis. Check out Veganyumyum’s recipe, which adds a heftier amount of vegetables than other recipes I’ve seen.
And the next easiest thing to make green and still look good: Soup! This one’s chilled, which I think is a lovely way to welcome in the Spring. Flower is optional, but it sure does make it pretty. From Marvelous Girl: Chilled Green Soup with Frizzled Leeks. Add mushed peas somewhere in there to make it more “Irish.”
Okay wait, backtrack – the easiest thing to make green and still look good is actually probably salad. Here’s a grilled zucchini one that looks positively divine. From Not Without Salt
Alright, but we’re getting a little too healthy here and if there was anything my one visit to Dublin highlighted, it’s that Irish people don’t do healthy. The entire population seems to only enjoy vegetables if they’ve been boiled into mushy water. Otherwise, it’s meat meat meat meat meat all the way and then Guinness to keep you regular (Ew). But is there a way to actually incorporate meat in this meal and not make it look like chunky alien puke (Ew)? The closest thing I could find was green curries – Indian style. They’re less watery and spicy than their Thai cousins, which I think plays a little nicer with the Irish propensity for thick stewy food. This blog, INJI, had a fun take on it – her Green Masala Cornish Hen is a pretty brilliant mash up of Indian and Northern Isles food cultures.
And now onto dessert, which is probably the easiest to make look festively green. These Chocolate & Mint Cheesecake Bars were the first dish to make me go “Hey, now THAT’S some St. Patrick’s food I’d actually want to eat!”
Ah, green-themed food porn…
Happy St. Patricks!