Seasonal Ingredient of the Week: Cavolo Nero

Who knew one type of kale could have so many names?  Black kale, black cabbage, Tuscan kale, whatever you want to call it, we like to call it cavolo nero, the Italian name for it which really does roll off the tongue.  Cavolo nero originates from Tuscany where it is thought to have been harvested as early as 600BC - however, it is something that has only recently come into popularity in the UK and we thought it was about time we gave some attention to Kale's bitter, yet sweet Italian relative. 

Packed full of antioxdants, cavolo nero helps in preventing asthma, ageing skin, diabetes and arthritis, as well as being a good source of vitamins (C, A, K & B), calcium and fibre - the list really does go on.  

Although typically in seaosn throughout the summer, autumn is our favourite time of year to enjoy cavolo nero as it has a slightly sweeter flavour after the first frost of the year! 

RECIPE IDEAS

- Massage cavolo nero, because it would be rude not to.  Simply remove some of the tougher stalks and then combine in a large bowl with olive oil, lemon juice and a sprinkling of salt.  Lovingly massage the leaves for a few minutes and voila.  This will keep in the fridge for up to a week and is a great addition to salads and lunches.  

- Alternatively, if you want something more warming, sauté with coconut, chillis and garlic. 

- Add to your favourite smoothie as a replacement to kale/spinach.  Beware of the colour! 

- Toss in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and bake for 5 minutes, but make sure to keep an eye on them to ensure perfect crispiness. 

- Add to soups and stews, to bulk out and to add some crunch.