I set out early morning, after walking my three dogs, yes three, around the racecourse, to the weekly farmers market near my home to see what delights were in store for me. A recent purchase of a barbecue has led our dinners to be quite carnivorous and I was looking forward to a nice and healthy meal with a high vegetable content.

Once inside, I came across a stall selling organic vegetables and I was immediately drawn to this gorgeous dark blue green leaf called Black Kale*, also known as Cavolo nero, Tuscan kale, or by its Italian names lacinato and nero de Toscana. I was aware that Cavolo Nero was usually grown in the south of Italy so I was surprised having come across it in rainy Ireland!

Just by looking at it I had already absorbed some of its goodness, I knew I couldn’t pass this opportunity up.

Once home I rummaged through numerous cookbooks and surfed the internet for more information on this vegetable. Satisfied with all this new knowledge, I was happy to settle on a recipe for the evening meal- sauteed kale with garlic and chili.

Sautéed Black Kale(Cavolo Nero) with Garlic and Chili
Serves 4.
2 bunches cavolo nero
1 cloves garlic, finely sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red chillies, finely sliced, or 1/2 tsp of pepperoncini
Salt and pepper

1. Clean the kale and derib, chop coarsely.
2. Cook the kale in boiling water for 15 minutes. Drain well.
3. Heat oil in large heavy based saucepan on a gentle heat.
4. Cook garlic and chilli on a low heat until just starting to brown.
5. Put the kale into the pan and stir well.
6. Sautee for 5 minutes or until tender. Season to taste.

I served the black kale as a side to breaded pork schnitzel, served with a wedge of lemon. So tasty.

*Black Kale(Cavolo nero) is a great source of lutein, vitamins K, A and C as well as significant amounts of manganese, copper, fibre, calcium, iron, the B vitamins and many other elements. Enjoy!

Rose Ciotoli
Originally from Windsor, Rose is currently living in Dublin, Ireland. She is a graphic designer who is passionate about food. Her dog, Winnie, shares the same passion and supports Rose in all her cooking adventures….just as long as she gets 10%.