Cavolo nero or ‘Tuscan kale’ or ‘Dinosaur Kale’ is a type of kale with dark-green curled leaves and packed with nutrients and flavor. It has a slightly bitter taste. It is a plant that reaches even the height of a meter, has a seasonality that goes from November to April, but it is essentially a winter plant.
Cavolo nero is at the basis of many recipes of Italian gastronomic culture, mostly in Central-South of Italy, but it is particularly relevant in Tuscan cuisine.
It is full of vital elements, decongestants and antioxidants: numerous scientific studies have attested to its healthful, preventive properties of numerous diseases and promoters of longevity.
The best Cavolo nero is the one harvested after a long frost.
Ok, how to cook Cavolo Nero?
It can be cooked like any other vegetable to get a tasty side dish, it is great sautéed with oil, garlic, anchovies and a pinch of chilli; it can also be added as a seasoning for pasta, as well as to break it up or to chop it raw before being combined along with the other ingredients. You can also stew it and make it a velvety cream as well as reduce it to purée and get a pesto to combine with pasta or why not, to garnish bruschetta.
We also like it very much cavolo nero rolls stuffed with cheese and ham.
But one of the recipes that come to mind as soon as you say ‘cavolo nero’ is certainly the famous Tuscan soup, called Ribollita.
How to store Cavolo nero?
It can be kept in the refrigerator for 4 days at the most,
even better if placed in the vegetable compartment in a fridge bag possibly with micro-holes: the micro-holes of the bag, in fact, make the
vegetables breathe avoiding the stagnation of liquids and the subsequent deterioration.
In the freezer
If you want to keep it longer and keep it in the freezer, we recommend to pre-cook it: after having thoroughly washed it, steam it for about three minutes and, immediately afterwards, immerse it in cold water with ice to stop cooking. Then dry it and place it in 60/80 g portions in the freezer bags. In any case it is better to consume the black cabbage within 6 months.