cavolo nero recipe

Easy Cavolo Nero Recipe | Tasty & Nutritious Greens!


Looking for a delicious and nutritious side dish to accompany your Italian cooking? Look no further than this easy Cavolo Nero recipe! Cavolo Nero, also known as Tuscan kale or black cabbage, is a versatile vegetable that adds a unique flavor and a nutritional boost to any meal.

Cavolo Nero is packed with vitamins and iron, making it a popular choice for those looking to incorporate more nutritious greens into their diet. Its slightly sweet flavor makes it a fantastic addition to Italian cuisine, both as a side dish or as an ingredient in various dishes.

Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a cooking enthusiast, this Cavolo Nero recipe is easy to follow and promises to deliver a tasty and healthy outcome. Stay tuned to discover the wonders of Cavolo Nero and learn how to prepare and cook this delightful vegetable!

What is Cavolo Nero?

Cavolo nero, also known as black kale or black cabbage, is a variety of kale that originated from Tuscany, Italy. It is characterized by its dark green leaves and curly texture, making it a visually appealing ingredient in dishes. Cavolo nero is rich in vitamins and iron, making it a nutritious addition to any meal.

Often used as a cabbage substitute, cavolo nero is a popular ingredient in Italian cuisine. Its robust texture and slightly bitter taste add depth and complexity to a variety of dishes. Whether used in soups, stews, stir-fries, or salads, cavolo nero brings an earthy and nutty flavor to the table.

“Cavolo nero is a versatile vegetable that can enhance the taste and nutritional profile of your meals. It adds a touch of elegance and authenticity to Italian recipes.”

The Versatility of Cavolo Nero

Cavolo nero can be used in a multitude of ways, making it a versatile ingredient in the kitchen. Its firm leaves hold up well to different cooking methods, allowing for experimentation and creativity.

  • Boil cavolo nero until tender, then sauté it with garlic and olive oil for a simple and nutritious side dish.
  • Add cavolo nero to soups and stews for an extra dose of vitamins and flavor.
  • Chop cavolo nero and toss it with your favorite salad ingredients for a fresh and vibrant salad.
  • Steam cavolo nero until tender-crisp, then drizzle with lemon juice and a sprinkle of sea salt for a healthy and refreshing side dish.

cavolo nero image

Cavolo nero can also be enjoyed raw in salads or blended into smoothies for a nutritious boost. Its versatility makes it a fantastic ingredient to have on hand, as it can elevate both simple and elaborate dishes with its distinct flavor and health benefits.

Next, let’s explore when and where you can find cavolo nero, as well as tips for buying and storing this delightful vegetable.

When and Where to Find Cavolo Nero?

Cavolo nero, also known as black kale or black cabbage, is a versatile and nutritious vegetable that can be easily incorporated into various recipes. If you’re wondering when and where to find cavolo nero, here’s what you need to know.

Peak Season: July to October

The peak season for cavolo nero is from July through early October. During this time, you can expect to find the freshest and most abundant supply of this leafy green. It’s when cavolo nero is at its prime, offering maximum flavor and nutritional value.

Large Supermarkets

Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for the peak season to enjoy cavolo nero. It is now readily available in most large supermarkets throughout the year. These supermarkets stock a wide variety of fresh produce, including cavolo nero, to cater to the demands of their customers.

Local Farmers’ Markets

If you prefer to support local farmers and enjoy the experience of shopping in an open-air market, you can also find cavolo nero at your local farmers’ markets. Farmers’ markets offer a great opportunity to connect with local producers and get the freshest, locally-grown cavolo nero.

“The peak season for cavolo nero is from July through early October. However, it is now readily available in most large supermarkets throughout the year. It can also be found at local farmers’ markets.”

Availability Chart

Availability Large Supermarkets Local Farmers’ Markets
January Yes No
February Yes No
March Yes No
April Yes No
May Yes No
June Yes No
July Yes Yes
August Yes Yes
September Yes Yes
October Yes Yes
November Yes No
December Yes No

As seen in the availability chart, cavolo nero is consistently found in large supermarkets throughout the year. However, if you want to enjoy the freshest and locally-sourced cavolo nero, it’s worth visiting your local farmers’ markets during the peak season.

cavolo nero availability

How to Prepare and Cook Cavolo Nero?

When it comes to preparing cavolo nero, follow these simple steps to make the most of this nutritious vegetable:

Removing the Central Stem

Start by removing the tough central stem from the cavolo nero leaves. This stem is generally not enjoyable to eat and can be discarded.

Shredding the Leaves

Next, shred the cavolo nero leaves into smaller, bite-sized pieces. This will make them easier to cook and incorporate into your recipes.


Cavolo nero can be boiled until tender, which usually takes about 5-7 minutes. This cooking method helps retain its vibrant green color and delicate texture. It pairs well with roasted meats or as a side dish for your favorite protein.


For a quick and flavorful option, try stir-frying cavolo nero with some garlic and olive oil. This method preserves its crispness and adds a delicious nutty flavor. It can be enjoyed as a standalone dish or as a side for Asian-inspired meals.


Steaming cavolo nero is another excellent way to enjoy its tender texture while retaining its nutritional benefits. Simply place the shredded leaves in a steamer basket and steam for about 5-7 minutes until just wilted. Serve it as a side or incorporate it into pasta dishes or casseroles.

Raw with a Dressing

If you prefer a raw option, cavolo nero can be enjoyed in salads. The leaves have a slightly bitter taste, which pairs well with robust dressings. Try combining it with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and a touch of honey for a refreshing and nutritious salad.

By following these preparation and cooking methods, you can elevate the flavors and textures of cavolo nero in your culinary creations. Whether you choose to boil, stir-fry, steam, or enjoy it raw, cavolo nero offers incredible versatility that can enhance any meal. Get creative in the kitchen and explore the various possibilities this nutritious vegetable has to offer!

Preparing Cavolo Nero

Tasty Cavolo Nero Recipe Ideas

Looking for some delicious ways to incorporate cavolo nero into your meals? We’ve got you covered! Whether you prefer raw salads, indulgent dishes, or flavorful stir-fries, cavolo nero is a versatile and nutritious vegetable that can elevate your cooking.

1. Cavolo Nero Raw Salad

For a refreshing and healthy option, try adding cavolo nero to a raw salad. Simply shred the leaves and toss them with your favorite vegetables and a creamy dressing. The cavolo nero adds a subtle sweetness and crunchy texture to the salad, making it a perfect choice for a light lunch or a side dish.

2. Butter and Bacon Boiled Cavolo Nero

If you’re looking to indulge, try boiling cavolo nero with butter and bacon. This combination adds a heavenly richness to the vegetable, making it a savory and satisfying side dish. The buttery flavor and crispy bacon complement the natural sweetness of the cavolo nero, creating a mouthwatering combination.

3. Simmered Cavolo Nero in Minestrone Soup

For a comforting and flavorful option, incorporate cavolo nero into your favorite minestrone soup recipe. The hearty texture of the vegetable pairs perfectly with the rich flavors of the soup. Simmering the cavolo nero allows it to absorb the delicious broth, enhancing its natural sweetness and adding a nutritious element to the dish.

4. Stir-Fried Cavolo Nero with Aromatics

If you’re craving a quick and flavorful meal, stir-frying cavolo nero with aromatics like garlic and ginger is a great option. The robust flavor of the vegetable combines beautifully with the aromatic spices, creating a delicious and healthy dish. Add some protein or your favorite stir-fry sauce for a complete and satisfying meal.

With these tasty cavolo nero recipe ideas, you can explore the versatility of this nutritious vegetable and add a touch of culinary creativity to your cooking. Whether you prefer raw, boiled, simmered, or stir-fried, cavolo nero is sure to impress your taste buds and provide a healthy addition to your meals.

Tips for Buying and Storing Cavolo Nero

When buying cavolo nero, look for crisp, unblemished leaves without any holes. Avoid cores that are split or dry.

To store cavolo nero, refrigerate it in a sealed bag or container for up to a week. It can also be frozen for longer-term storage.

Blanch the leaves in boiling water for a few minutes, then transfer them to ice-cold water before freezing. This will help preserve their quality and nutrients.

“Choose cavolo nero with crisp leaves and avoid any with splits or dry cores.”

Cavolo Nero Storage Guide

Storage Method Temperature Duration
Refrigeration 0-4°C (32-39°F) Up to 1 week
Freezing -18°C (0°F) or below Up to 6 months

Nutritional Benefits of Cavolo Nero Recipe

When it comes to nutrition, cavolo nero is a powerhouse of goodness. Packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, this versatile vegetable offers a range of health benefits.

Cavolo nero is particularly rich in vitamins, including:

  • Vitamin K: Essential for blood clotting and bone health.
  • Vitamin A: Promotes good vision and a strong immune system.
  • Vitamin C: Boosts immune function and collagen production.
  • Vitamin B2: Supports energy metabolism and healthy skin.

In addition to vitamins, cavolo nero is also a good source of iron, which is vital for transporting oxygen throughout the body. It also contains manganese, an essential mineral that contributes to bone health and antioxidant function.

Furthermore, cavolo nero provides essential calcium, which is important for maintaining strong bones and teeth. Its high fiber content supports a healthy digestive system.

“Cavolo nero is a nutritional powerhouse, offering a wide array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Its iron and calcium content make it especially beneficial for maintaining strong bones and overall well-being.”

Notably, cavolo nero is packed with antioxidants that help fight free radicals and reduce oxidative stress in the body. These antioxidants play a crucial role in preventing chronic diseases and supporting overall health.

Additionally, cavolo nero exhibits anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation and support a healthy immune system.

By incorporating cavolo nero into your diet, you can enjoy the numerous health benefits that this nutritious vegetable has to offer.

Nutritional Content of Cavolo Nero (Per 100g)

Nutrient Amount
Vitamin K 250.0 mcg
Vitamin A 6816 IU
Vitamin C 120.0 mg
Vitamin B2 0.2 mg
Iron 1.6 mg
Manganese 1.2 mg
Calcium 170.0 mg
Fiber 3.0 g


Cavolo nero, the versatile vegetable synonymous with Italian cuisine, adds a unique and delicious flavor to any dish. Whether you’re looking for a healthy side dish or an ingredient to elevate your favorite recipes, cavolo nero is the perfect choice. With its rich nutritional profile and robust texture, this Tuscan kale offers a world of culinary possibilities.

Explore the joys of Italian cooking by incorporating cavolo nero into your meals. Its slightly sweet and earthy taste makes it a wonderful addition to salads, soups, and pasta dishes. You can also enjoy it as a nutritious side dish alongside your favorite main courses.

Try our easy cavolo nero recipes and discover just how versatile this vegetable can be. From raw salads to boiled with butter and bacon, simmered in minestrone soup, or stir-fried with aromatic ingredients, cavolo nero brings depth and richness to every bite. Enjoy the health benefits it offers, including an abundance of vitamins, iron, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Get creative in the kitchen and let cavolo nero take center stage in your meals. With its unique flavor and nutritional value, it’s time to make this versatile vegetable a staple in your cooking repertoire. Delight in the rich flavors of Italian cuisine, all while adding a healthy twist to your dishes with cavolo nero.

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