The Foodist: Big Mom’s Pan-Seared Potatoes, Onions, and Kale

Rick’s mother’s 13″ cast iron skillet with potatoes, onions, parsley, and kale from Mezzacello.

This is a terrific recipe Potatoes Lyonnaise with a twist for a winter night. Simple, warm, filling, crunchy and tasty. Rick made this Cook’s Country-inspired dish in his beloved mother’s fabulously seasoned, well-used, and much beloved large cast iron pan.

The recipe is deceptively simple. The ingredients were all locally grown and ready for use either from the root cellar or the freezer.

The trick is in understanding the relationship between heat, water content and timing. Also, a big shout out to Helen Riley (AKA Big Mom) for the lovely gift of this well seasoned pan!


  • 4 Russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/2′ slices
  • 1 onion, sliced into strips
  • 2 cups of chopped kale (frozen is fine)
  • 2 Tbsp diced parsley
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 2Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp caraway seed ground
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Prepare the ingredients for adding to the pan.
  2. Add oil and butter into the cast iron pan and heat it up.
  3. When the pan is hot add the potatoes, spreading them around the pan to sear both sides.
  4. Cover the potatoes while they are searing and steaming!
  5. Remove potatoes if you must to make sure that all get a decent sear on both sides. Be sure to cover the pan.
  6. Keep the potatoes warm, you’ll be adding them back in the pan.
  7. Add the onions and cook until they just start to sweat.
  8. Add the ground caraway seed in the pan.
  9. Return all the potatoes to the pan. Allow the potatoes and onions and caraway to cook down together.
  10. Add the kale in at the end to a hot skillet. The kale will crisp up quickly.
  11. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Garnish with the parsley.
  13. Serve immediately and enjoy.

Serves 4-6 people

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