Like so many ingredients that have reached our dining tables via pioneering Italophiles such as Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray of London’s River Café, the Italians have been eating cavolo nero (black cabbage) for donkey’s years. What’s more they don’t make a fuss about it. We say superfood, they say versatile yet tasty vegetable.
Unlike cabbage, Cavolo nero, also known as Tuscan kale, does not form a head, but is made up instead of long, loose dark green leaves. A British variety, which we could call “Lincolnshire kale”, is now being grown in the fertile, loamy soil of this country.
Like cabbage, the leaves should be boiled or steamed for about five minutes and dressed while warm with peppery oils with chilli, garlic and anchovies. It’s delicious in classic soups such as ribollita, which is traditionally left to thicken for a day before serving to intensify the flavours, tossed through pasta with speck, or served with slow-cooked meaty winter dishes.
For more recipes visit discoverkale.co.uk