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Tuscan cabbage

September 5, 2011

Black Tuscan cabbage or cavolo nero is an intriguing vegetable. It's pretty to look at with its long curly dark green leaves with a surface that repels water. It has a good flavour, but not too assertive like some kales.

There is plenty of it available at the market, usually around $3.99 at Fruits on Coventry, though their bundles are quite large. For just two of us I sometimes get a smaller bunch for a couple of dollars from South Melbourne Fresh Fruit Centre inside the market.

I prefer to remove the stalks from the larger leaves as they can sometimes be a bit tough. That's easily done by pulling the end of the stalks with one hand and stripping off the leafy section with the other.

An easy way of cooking them is to heat some olive oil in a deep frypan and gently saute two or three cloves of finely sliced garlic. Next add a deseeded and finely sliced chilli, toss for a moment or two then turn up the heat a little and add the washed and sliced Tuscan cabbage. Cover with a lid and let the kale steam in the water clinging to the leaves. If you don't have a chilli on hand, use a teaspoon or two of dried pepper flakes.

Turn the cabbage over a couple of times as it cooks - about 10 minutes depending on the size of the leaves. Season to taste. Drain if necessary and sprinkle with a little olive oil to serve.

Here's another recipe - Cavolo nero braised with leeks

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