How to Cook Cavolo Nero

June 20, 2023
by HelloFresh How to cook

    Cavolo nero, otherwise known as ‘Italian kale’, is packed full of nutrients that our body needs. Not only can it benefit us, but it also tastes delicious when added to dishes. Find out how to prep and cook cavolo nero here and explore some new and exciting recipes.


    What is cavolo nero?

    Cavolo nero, translated to English as ‘black cabbage’, is a dark green leafy kale, stemming from the cabbage family. It is often referred to as the ‘Italian cousin’ of curly kale. Originally from the Italian region of Tuscany, and first grown way back in 600 BC, cavolo nero is now grown in the UK for everyone to enjoy.

    Cavolo nero is low in calories and offers nutrients such as vitamin C, folic acid, calcium and potassium.

    As with most fresh produce, you can find it all year round, but cavolo nero is typically grown and consumed between July and October, when the plant has a better chance of growing. Although some UK seeds allow cavolo nero to survive almost any weather.



    How to prepare cavolo nero

    Cavolo nero can be eaten raw or cooked, so prepping it depends on how you plan to use it in your dish. If your cavolo nero isn’t prewashed then you’ll first want to give it a rinse with some water under the tap. 

    If the cavolo nero is whole, then prepare it by removing the stem and shred the leaves. Then chop, or shred the leaves into smaller pieces. 

    How to cook cavolo nero

    HelloFresh’s Recipe Development Manager, Mimi Morley, says, “Cavolo nero is a versatile vegetable that can be steamed, boiled, stir-fried or eaten raw, which means there are many ways of cooking it.” To learn how to do so, read Mimi’s tips below!

    Boiling cavolo nero

    Fill a large pan with salted water and bring to the boil. Place your chopped cavolo nero in the boiling water and cook for just 3-4 minutes until it is darker in colour and has wilted. 

    To retain the bite of cavolo nero, you can place the cooked cabbage into ice-cold water which will prevent it from cooking further, otherwise known as blanching.


    Steaming cavolo nero

    Using a vegetable steamer, place your cavolo nero in one of the pans/steamer compartments and steam until it is wilted, usually for around seven minutes.



    Stir-frying cavolo nero

    Over a high heat, heat up some oil in a wok or large frying pan and add the cavolo nero, any other vegetables and seasonings. Cook for around 3-4 minutes until it has wilted but is still deliciously crunchy. 

    All cooking appliances vary. These are guidelines only. Ensure the food is piping hot before serving. Do not reheat.


    Eating cavolo nero raw

    Just like curly kale, cavolo nero can be eaten raw. Thinly chop up the leaves and toss in a large bowl with your other ingredients and dressings. 


    Cavolo nero recipes

    Cavolo nero can be included in a variety of dishes, such as stir friess, pasta, salads and more. And with its Italian roots, it’d be a shame to not add a little Mediterranean twist with the HelloFresh Mushroom and Cavolo Nero Gnocchi, or Pork, Sage & Cavolo Nero Spaghetti recipes.


    If you’re looking for a warm, hearty meal, then why not try the Harissa Spiced Butter Bean and Cavolo Nero Stew, or Warm Butternut Squash and Cavolo Nero Salad, in your next HelloFresh box.

    All food products vary. The instructions printed on the food packaging always supersedes those printed in this article and must always be followed.
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