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Cavolo Nero/Black Kale/Lacinato


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I find it much sweeter than regular kale.  The Times ran a recipe for a kale salad recently, and I'm pretty sure Lupa serves it as a verdure - that is, sliced very thinly, dressed with salt, pepper, evoo, lemon juice and a couple of gratings of Pecorino Romano.

Also goes great in lots of soups.

here's the nytimes recipe:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/24/dining/2...=rssnyt&emc=rss

it's become one of our regulars -- it's really nice and garlicky/lemony, like a healthy caesar salad. even better the second day.

Though I was very wary about eating raw kale because I usually braise it for a while, I made this tonight. To my surprise, it wasn't tough at all; the healthy dose of lemon tenderized it. It was fantastic; thanks for the recipe deensiebat.

josh

josh

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Though I was very wary about eating raw kale because I usually braise it for a while, I made this tonight. To my surprise, it wasn't tough at all; the healthy dose of lemon tenderized it. It was fantastic; thanks for the recipe deensiebat.

josh

isn't it nice? in the accompanying article the author said that at restaurants she either tries the dish that sounds the tastiest, or the one that sounds so awful it practically dares you to order it. she ordered this for the latter reason, but was obviously very pleasantly surprised.

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Has anybody ever tried cooking cavolo nero with japanese dandelion greens? I couldn't find any in a grocery store so I had to go to a farmer's market, and when I asked the guy about how to cook it, he said it would taste awesome with those dandelion greens. But, after googling up a recipe, I haven't found anything that combined those two together.

And, what's the point of boiling the greens first before sauteeing them? Can you skip the first step?

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Boiling them first removes some of the bitterness. (I've used the technique for broccoli rabe, for example.)

This is a guess, but if you blanched the kale and the dandelion greens, you wouldn't have to worry about one cooking faster than the other as you proceeded with the recipe.

Margo Thompson

Allentown, PA

You're my little potato, you're my little potato,

You're my little potato, they dug you up!

You come from underground!

-Malcolm Dalglish

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Two Batali recipes for lacinto kale come to mind:

1) Bruschetta: Braise the chopped kale with garlic and white wine or water, then top grilled bread slices. Sliver a fresh pecorino over it with a veg peeler, lots of black pepper, and the best olive oil you can find. Too much of these toppings is never enough.

2) Cavatelli or gramigna (sp?), a hollow, corkscrew-type pasta with kale, sausage, a jot of tomato sauce, and again, blankets of pecorino.

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I made a Suzanne Goin recipe tonight. Pasta with cauliflower, cavolo nero , currants and pine nuts.

It was pretty labor intensive and the taste of the kale was kind of lost in the final product. I could have stopped after sauteeing the kale with garlic, chile, rosemary and onion and eaten that alone--it was delicious!

gallery_15437_3722_588668.jpg

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Meredith that's such a coincidence. My supper last night was just that pasta dish, but with roasted cauliflower instead of the kale (really really good); + lunch today was kale + butterbean soup (with a teeny hit of red chili + lemon juice).

Fi Kirkpatrick

tofu fi fie pho fum

"Your avatar shoes look like Marge Simpson's hair." - therese

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Okay, now that I know what to look for I am seeing lacinato and dinosaur all over the place. So far I have tried two simple ways of cooking it, both very good.

The first thing I did was a test to see how it behaved in soups the way I usually do big curly kale. I added it, roughly chopped, to a vegetable bean soup that's really my version of Batali's bean soup from Molto Mario. He cooks the cavolo nero longer than I like. I find it to be delicate and sweet--and needs even less cooking time than regular kale. I threw it in about 20 minutes before the end and I think it only really needed 15 minutes. Delicious in soup.

Then last night I tried the greens-on-toast suggested by so many upthread. I did prep the c.n. by cutting out the lower thicker stems but I agree that with very fresh narrow leaves it probably isn't necessary. I sauteed it with garlic, the usual suspects and a pinch of red pepper flakes (does Mario get paid by the red pepper flakes board? When I say a pinch I mean something that fits between two fingers; his pinches have to be trucked in), til wilted, then added a splash of broth and covered it, cooking til the liquid was absorbed, maybe ten minutes. We spread it on garlic-rubbed toast, sprinkled with oil and it was yummy. If I had thought about it I would have served it with a drift of grated pecorino but I forgot.

Tougher greens like collards I like to blanch, but I don't think anything as tender as this stuff needs blanching (which is always an annoying step, as far as I'm concerned.) This is one happy vegetable!

Curly, how do you make kale and butterbean soup? Sounds fabulous.

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We grow lacinato kale (as many have said here: it's the same stuff that also called cavolo nero, tuscan black, or, unfortunately, 'dino' kale: it's the disneyfication of vegetables!).

Ours is grown in a farm setting, not a garden setting: we pick the bunches as full grown but on the young end and they are never, ever bitter. If it's grown in heat/summer it gets less sweet: this is a great vegetable when it has chill factor. If it's bitter, you're likely not eating kale, or eating it when it wasn't grown well. If it gets 'stressed' (ie not irrigated) it can get bitter. Find a new source, or wait for winter. That's my 2 cents!

All of your cooking ideas sound delicious. I just sauteed chopped lacinato kale (the only kind we grow since it's our favorite) straight up in a bit of oil; when it cools it will be tossed in my ongoing couscous salad project of the day: chopped raw fennel, sweet onions, olives, capers, parsley, lemon & sherry vinegar, chile flakes, grated carrots, & feta. I'll see what inspires me tomorrow.

cg

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Curly, how do you make kale and butterbean soup? Sounds fabulous.

Embarrassingly simple I'm afraid. Fried a chopped onion in olive oil til soft + golden, added chopped garlic + chopped red chili, a drained tin of butterbeans, bit of chicken stock, cooked til onion was soft. Mulched up a few of the butterbeans to thicken the soup, then added very finely shredded cavolo nero + simmered til done (< 5 mins). Squeeze of lemon juice, lots of black pepper, serve. As is the way of these things, even better the next day (though the cavolo nero goes a bit grey).

I like the sound of your garlicky toasts too :-)

Fi Kirkpatrick

tofu fi fie pho fum

"Your avatar shoes look like Marge Simpson's hair." - therese

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just want to say that I am now totally addicted to this stuff and buy it every week. As I've said, I live alone and cook fast yummy things for myself - no more labor intensive recipes for this old cook. I've made the "Middle Eastern burrito" I described, almost once a week, but also used the sauteed leaves with pasta & chicken sausage, stirred into store-bought minestrone or Italian wedding soup - it always gives just the right veggie note during this cold, snowy part of the year.

I've been able to find it without probs at my local WF store under Lacinato kale, but haven't seen it anywhere else, even in my good fruit & veg store.

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I find it much sweeter than regular kale.  The Times ran a recipe for a kale salad recently, and I'm pretty sure Lupa serves it as a verdure - that is, sliced very thinly, dressed with salt, pepper, evoo, lemon juice and a couple of gratings of Pecorino Romano.

Also goes great in lots of soups.

here's the nytimes recipe:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/24/dining/2...=rssnyt&emc=rss

it's become one of our regulars -- it's really nice and garlicky/lemony, like a healthy caesar salad. even better the second day.

We love the recipes from the NY Times. But we also like to substitute the bread crumbs with toasted pecans and add chunks of roasted beets at the end. I am salivating just thinking about it...

Edited by The Cookbook Addict (log)
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gallery_16643_1028_41258.jpg

Ever since the Saveur recipe came we haven't gone a week without a quart of Ribolita in the fridge. With a shortcut or two, it's a fast dish too.

Today's variation:

1 carrot

1 leek

1 rib celery

1 spanish onion

a little red onion

1 quart fresh smoked ham bone stock

1 can diced tomato (pre-loaded w/oregano, basil, garlic)

1 can cannellini beans

1 half lb Lacinato or whatever (above)

several cubes two-day country bread

salt & pepper

1 quarter lb chorizo (what the hell?!)

gallery_16643_1028_67540.jpg

We usually use chicken or turkey stock but I bet this works too. We stopped mashing a second can of white bean as we prefer it a little lighter and the bread makes it come together.

Wonderful stuff!

Edited by johnnyd (log)

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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  • 1 year later...

The price of cavolo nero has finally been lowered to general kale status at the Whole Foods nearby, and I've been making it every which way: roasted, quickly sauteed, and simmered with all sorts of alliums, capiscums, and salty things (bacon, anchovies). Tis the season, too, for that earthy flavor. What are people doing with theirs?

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I'd always wondered where the name "lacinato" came from, and with a little digging on the internets discovered it's a mispelling of lacianato (lacy or frilled in Italian). I like it braised with onion and olive oil, natch.

It's also good in inzimino, typically made with chard or spinach....

Calamari all’inzimino

For one bunch of cavalo nero, use about a pound of cleaned squid, an even mix of tubes and tentacles. Leave the tentacles intact, but slice the tubes into rings about a half inch wide.

Coarsely chop half an onion, a few garlic cloves, and a couple of celery stalks. Cook for a few minutes with a pinch of sea salt in olive oil, then add a bunch of cavalo nero that you cut in a chiffonade (trim the bottom inch off the bundle of leaves, then roll about half into a tight cylinder, top to bottom, and slice thinly, about a quarter inch). Add a healthy glug of red wine (roughly a cup), the squid, and about 2 tablespoons of tomato paste thinned with a half cup or so of water.

A nice pinch of red pepper flakes is optional, but really good. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 40 minutes. Serve over toasted bread with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Jim

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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  • 1 year later...
This Melissa Clark recipe for raw Tuscan Kale salad is excellent. Essentially chopped kale massaged with minced garlic, lemon, zest, olive oil and pecorino (salt & pepper) - Bread crumbs from a rye or other strong bread are also a suggestion.
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Oddly, cavolo nero is available in the summer here in NYC.

3630859245_ff4207e509_o.jpg

My standard treatment is to use it in some kind of pasta preparation (spaghetti with cavolo nero, anchovy and garlic comes to mind).

If I'm not stewing it or using it in pasta, I'll cook it with some aromatics and mushrooms along with lots of olive oil.

Like so:

3630859261_433e02f8a4_o.jpg

http://spamwise.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/monkfish-2/

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I think kale is traditionally a winter vegetable because it's one of the few things that grows well even in cold climates. So historically, it's been associated more with winter food. In the spring, people are probably sick of the food they've been eating all winter, and ready for something new. However, I am pretty sure it grows pretty well year-round (though chardgirl's comments above about climate are interesting).

Edited by Will (log)
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I made Jamie Oliver's recipe for Cavolo Nero Bread Soup from jamie at home with a few serious tweaks. Firstly, I used about half the stock called for, which made it into a savoury bread and butter pudding. I omitted the other cabbages he calls for, used a lot of leek, and included gruyere in the cheese mix. Here is an awful photo:

tumblr_lnws03qkK01qd3xbwo1_500.png

The sage in brown butter garnish is very important, I think, as is the pancetta. I've made this dish a few times before with different tweaks, and it's always a winner.

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