The incomparable John Thorne provided this American with an introduction to champ, an Irish mashed potato dish made with greens cooked in milk. The recipe can be found in Pot on the Fire, which I recommend for general reading about food and food history.
This came out fantastic the first time around, and it’s very simple to make. Take 3 “all-purpose” potatoes (I used Yukon Gold), peel them and put them in a pot with a tight-fitting lid. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon sea salt in 1/2 cup water and pour that over the potatoes. Cover, bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until the water is gone and the potatoes cooked through. This is not simple (Thorne writes that it will take several tries until you figure out the right proportion of water to potato) – in my case, I ended up raising the heat, cooking for an extra 10 minutes, then adding another 1/4 cup water, boiling again, and cooking for another 4-5 minutes. Much depends on the size of the potato.
Remove from heat and crush potatoes in your fingers until fully mashed and all lumps are gone. Return to pot and cover.
Meanwhile mince 4 scallions – the whole thing including all of the green stalk that isn’t wilted – sprinkle lightly with salt, pour boiling water on top, and drain. Add minced scallions to 1/2 cup milk and gently bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes so that the milk has absorbed the scallion flavor.
Now put the flame to low under the potato pot, and gradually add the scallion milk, beating with a wooden paddle until luscious and creamy. Add more milk if necessary (I added a splash), as well as generous amounts of salt and freshly ground pepper.
Serve immediately with butter at the table. Can be a main course or side.