This tangy cavolo nero is ideal alongside grilled meats or a casserole, and is ready in just 20 minutes!
Cavolo nero with garlic and lemon is a quick and easy way to prepare this wonderful autumn/winter vegetable.
Tangy, tender, garlic-y and slightly sweet, this recipe is a family favourite and even appeals to the fussy eaters.
For those of you who enjoy eating seasonally, pick up a few bunches of fresh cavolo nero in the colder months for some nutritious, hearty and tasty winter cooking, then freeze the rest to use later.
This dish can be prepared in advance, serve at room temperature or warm.
What is cavolo nero?
Cavolo nero, or Tuscan kale, is a popular ingredient in Italian cuisine often used in soups such as ribollita and minestrone, stews, rice or pasta dishes. It is also known by other names such as lacinato or dinosaur kale, and black cabbage.
It is a member of the brassica family with loose, large dark green leaves which are thinner than the other varieties of kale. Younger leaves can be eaten raw in a salad.
In my opinion cavolo nero is the most delicious variety of kale.
Your questions answered
After cooking, cavolo nero becomes tender and chewy with a satisfying bite, a delicate bitter flavour and slightly sweet aftertaste.
Not only does cavolo nero have wonderful flavour, this inexpensive winter vegetable is high in antioxidants and anti inflammatory properties. It is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins K, A, C, B2, manganese, calcium, iron, folate and fiber.
Fresh raw cavolo nero will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, wash the leaves before use. To freeze, wash the leaves, blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes then transfer to icy water for 2 minutes, remove and pat dry. Transfer to a freezer bag and freeze for up to a year. Allow to thaw before using or use frozen.
For best results, use a good quality olive oil and fresh ingredients.
How to cut cavolo nero
- Rinse and pat dry the leaves.
2. Cut the tough central stalk away from the leaves.
3. Repeat with the rest of the leaves, saving the stalks for a soup, roast or smoothie.
4 & 5 Place the two sides of the leaf over each other and chop into thin strips, around ½ inch wide.
6. Chopped cavolo nero ready to use.
- Use a good quality olive oil and fresh ingredients.
- Cavolo nero stalks are quite tough so it is best to remove it and keep aside for use in a soup or stew (see step by step pictures in the post above).
- A heavy bottomed saucepan allows an even distribution of heat so the food cooks uniformly.
- Add the oil and garlic to a cold pan and the turn the heat on to low. This allows the garlic to gently heat and soften, preventing burning (which will spoil the dish).
Store the cooked cavolo nero in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to a month.
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Cavolo Nero With Garlic And Lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic crushed and chopped
- 400 g cavolo nero (Tuscan kale 14oz) rinsed, dried and chopped thinly
- ¼ teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Add oil and garlic to a heavy bottomed pan and turn heat to low. Once the garlic softens, add the cavolo nero, salt and water. Turn heat to medium low and cover with a lid, stirring occasionally (add a little more water if required).
- Cook till the cavolo nero is tender and the liquid has evaporated, remove from the heat and garnish with lemon zest.
- Rinse and pat dry the cavolo nero leaves.
- Remove the centre stalk and chop the leaves into thin strips (step by step instructions are in the post above).
- Add the oil and garlic to a cold pan then turn heat to low. This allows the garlic to heat gently and soften, preventing burning (which ruins the dish).
- This dish can be prepared in advance, serve at room temperature or warm.
- Store the cooked cavolo nero in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to a month.