Year-Round Recipes – Tuscan Kale (Cavolo Nero)

Say what you will about hipster food fads, Tuscan Kale should never go out of style. It is one of the best things to grow in the garden, being easy to grow (and germinate from seed) year round in a temperate climate, as well as a cut and come again crop, and only needing protection from cabbage moths in spring and autumn. It’s also beautiful in the garden. And architectural. And there are so many ways to cook it and they are all delicious. It’s fab. I won’t hear a word against it.

Skye Gingell’s Cavolo Nero (Tuscan Kale) with Garlic and Parmesan

I love this so much. I felt like a fancy cook when I first made this (and I’m not, a fancy cook. I think whenever I use butter as a sauce it feels so elegant and French. My cooking is never elegant!). Don’t skip any steps – it’s worth it.  Also, I quite love Skye Gyngell. This is from her book A Year in My Kitchen which I recommend for your kitchen garden library.

1kg cavolo nero

100g unsalted butter

1tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, peeled and chipped

150g parmesan, grated.


Wash cavolo nero , drain, and cut out the tough white centre, retaining the dark leaves.

Boil a large pan of slated water, add cavolo nero and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water. Drain well.

In a frying pan, melt butter with olive oil and add chopped onion, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Sweat gently for 10 minutes until onion soft and translucent.

Add cavolo nero and toss well to coat all the leaves. When cavolo nero is warmed through, add the grated parmesan, toss well and serve.