Cavolo Nero, Avocado, Soy & Miso Recipe

Something robust and salty to serve with baked oily fish, grilled chicken or beef sirloin perhaps. A welcome jolt of flavour, acidity, and textural contrast. It is not unlike a “massaged” cavolo nero or  kale salad, though that name does make me roll my eyes: far too zeitgeisty! Though far less appetising, the word “bruised” is more appropriate. You really need to crush and break down the fibres of the cavolo nero (with the help of the acid and salt content of the dressing) to tenderise it into something delicious. The force and intent required is not one that I would want on a backrub! This dressing will keep well in the fridge so make more than you need and keep for a rainy day. Likewise the creamy miso mix that goes underneath. A lot of store cupboard ingredients are utilised here, which is always helpful this time of year when the days are never long enough in every sense. There is also plenty of scope to bulk it out or jazz it up as you wish, with some suggestions included in the method below. Incidentally, this recipe calls for one third of a lime rather than half a lime, because you extract far more juice when squeezing from lime that has been cut off as 3 cheeks from around the centre, rather than cut in half across the middle. 


2 tbsp Soy sauce

2 tbsp Vegetable oil

2 tbsp Toasted sesame seeds

1 tbsp Sugar

1 tbsp Rice wine vinegar

1/3rd Lime, squeezed

Pinch Chilli flakes


4 handfuls Finely sliced Cavolo Nero (or Kale), stem removed


1 tbsp White miso

2 tbsp Tahini

1 tbsp Rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp Water

Pinch Garlic powder

Pinch Ginger powder


1 Avocado, halved, stone removed, peeled then sliced into 2-3cm pieces


- For the soy dressing, mix all the ingredients together in a pan and heat just to dissolve the sugar. Cool, then check seasoning and acidity.


- Have the cavolo nero in a bowl and pour over the dressing, then mix well, squeezing with your hands to break it down. Leave for 15 mins, squeezing hard every 5 mins.


- During this time, whisk together the miso, tahini, vinegar, water, garlic & ginger and check seasoning. Spread onto the base of a shallow bowl.


- Mix the avocado into the cavolo nero (along with anything else you may fancy: edamame, pear slices, peanuts, pickled ginger). If you want to jazz it up, scatter over some coriander leaves, thai basil and pickled ginger on top.


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