What is cavolo nero?
Cavolo nero is also known as black kale, black cabbage, Tuscan kale, or by its Italian names lacinato and nero de Toscana and is a cousin to the popular Italian vegetable cavolo fiore (similar to cauliflower). With its distinctive long, dark green, almost black leaves, cavolo nero originates from the fields of Tuscany where it was first believed to be grown in 600BC.
Whilst cavolo nero enjoys all the benefits of traditional kale, it has a delicious and rich taste all of its own. The good news for kale lovers is that cavolo nero is now being grown in Lincolnshire, renowned for its fertile, loamy soil and where so many of our home-grown vegetables come from.
It is available, chopped and ready to use, from most leading supermarkets.
Cavolo nero is an extremely versatile vegetable with a marvellous rich, intense and slightly sweet flavour, which means it can be used in a number of different ways. It is great in hearty meals like minestrone soup, but is also delicious in lighter dishes such as salads.
Cavolo nero also makes a fantastic accompaniment, complementing a number of meat and fish dishes – and not just Italian ones!
And if that isn’t enough to tempt you – cavolo nero is a good source of lutein, vitamins K, A and C, a significant source of the B vitamins, fibre and calcium as well as containing manganese, copper, iron and many other elements.
If you’re looking for healthy meal ideas, visit our cavolo nero recipe page for inspiration.