Cavolo nero was the trendy kale before kale became trendy.
It’s delicious added to braises, cooked long until tender and velvety. Thought technically a green vegetable, it can be fibrous and benefits from a much longer cooking than you would normally give something in the cabbage family.
Another delicious way to cook it is to deep fry the leaves once thinly sliced, ending up with a result similar to what is marketed as “crispy seaweed” by Chinese restaurants.
A healthier option is the one below, which is incredible moreish. The miso emulsion has become a staple preparation for me in my kitchen. It adds an instant savoury edge but is rounded and smooth. Enjoy!
Toasted cavolo nero with white miso & sesame
1 clove Garlic
Equal amount Ginger
30g Rice wine vinegar
30g White miso
2 x Egg yolks
1 tbsp Honey
200g Vegetable oil
Cavolo nero, thinly sliced
Vegetable oil or virgin rapeseed oil
Sesame seed, toasted
Blend the first 8 ingredients in the blender until smooth, then gradually add the oil to form a smooth emulsion
Toast the kale in a large hot pan in a couple of tbsp. of oil. It will take about 5 mins. It should be softened but still with some crunch. It should be lightly scorched and nutty.
Season lightly with salt and sugar, then sprinkle with some toasted sesame seeds.
Spread the miso emulsion on the base of a platter, then scatter over the kale on top.
Serve as a simple starter, or to accompany some grilled chicken or fish. Enjoy!