Pronounce it: ca-voll-oh nee-ro
What is cavolo nero?
Cavolo nero is also known as black kale, black cabbage, Tuscan kale, or by its Italian names lacinato and nero de Toscana and is a cousin to the popular Italian vegetable cavolo fiore (similar to cauliflower). Some people spell this 'cavalo nero'.
Look for crisp, unblemished leaves, with no holes. Avoid cores that are split or dry. With its distinctive long, dark green, almost black leaves, cavolo nero originates from the fields of Tuscany where it was first believed to be grown in 600BC.
Generations of Italians have appreciated the delights of cavolo nero and now the British are catching on to its benefits too. Like its cousin kale, cavolo nero is a member of the brassica family and used in many traditional Italian dishes, from soups through to main meals.
Whilst cavolo nero enjoys all the benefits of traditional kale, it has a delicious and rich taste all of its own. The good news for UK kale lovers is that cavolo nero is now being grown in Lincolnshire, renowned for its fertile, loamy soil and where so many of our home-grown vegetables come from.
Remove old or damaged outer leaves, cut the leaves free of the core and slice out any tough central stalks. Rinse, then chop or slice.
It will keep in a cool, dark place or the vegetable drawer of the fridge for several days.
Cavolo nero also makes a fantastic accompaniment, complementing a number of meat and fish dishes – and not just Italian ones!
And if that isn’t enough to tempt you – cavolo nero is a good source of lutein, vitamins K, A and C, a significant source of the B vitamins, fibre and calcium as well as containing manganese, copper, iron and many other elements.
9g carbs per serving
1½ kg celeriac, peeled and cut into chunks
200g smoked bacon lardons
250g cavolo nero, or green cabbage, finely shredded
4 tbsp double cream
Recipe idea from here