The weather is chilling and so it’s time to introduce you to “cavolo nero”… or is it vice versa? Because black kale – or Tuscany kale – is such a protagonist in any dish where it’s put in, that it almost has a soul on its own.
Originally grown only in Tuscany, in the last decades it has spread almost all over the Italian territory, and it is a pillar of Tuscany traditional cooking. Very recently it has been brought over here too, and let me tell you that United Kingdom is now even luckier than it was before!
The best season to eat it is winter, especially after the first frosts have enhanced its dominant flavour and have made its leaves meaty and crunchy. Also its buds can be eaten just before the blooming in spring, boiled just like broccoli.
For those who – like me – are always trying to loose some weight, cavolo nero is a powerful ally: from 19 to 25Kcal… nothing! And it is also good for its high content of vitamin C. Because of its inner spacial inhibitors, it is useful for preventing, ulcerative colitis and gastric ulcer and several forms of cancer (colon, bladder, prostate, rectum and stomach cancer). Interesting, isn’t it?
Unfortunately, black kale doesn’t live longer than a week in the fridge, but if you wrap it into a slightly wet kitchen cloth and put it in the lower vegetable tray, it can resist a couple of days longer. You can also freeze it after it has been blanched for a few minutes and then chilled.
Here you can find our first recipe with cavolo nero: it’s a passata soup. Technically, a passata is a blended soup made only with one main ingredient, vegetable stock and potatoes, which are the thickening component of the recipe.
Therefore I think this is the best way of getting acquainted with its deep earthy taste.