I just have to share my family’s latest favorite side veggie dish – Cavolo Nero with Garlic, Hazelnuts and Beans! I’m not sure how I got my kids to enjoy something so healthy but I am super chuffed when they enjoy any green vegetable beyond the humble cucumber! 😉 Some of you might be wondering, ‘what is Cavolo Nero?’. Well it also goes by the more familiar names of black leaf kale, Tuscan cabbage or Tuscan kale. It is a beautiful, dark green, nutrient dense cabbage which is believed to have originated in Tuscany. It is very much a winter vegetable and extremely versatile when you need to bump up those nutrients during the winter time. Slightly sweet but slightly bitter at the same time while its earthy flavour means you really don’t need to do too much to it to enjoy its rustic flavour.
A month ago, I visited the beautiful Tuscany region with my family where we enjoyed this delicious vegetable, lightly steamed with the glorious ‘new’ olive oil of the season. It really highlighted the beauty in keeping cooking simple and clean, celebrating the ingredients in their most rustic state. This was my inspiration behind this dish. I learned that Tuscan cooking really is quite simple, using good quality seasonal produce, drizzled with olive oil from the same years harvest, is really all you need to enjoy a delicious meal. Adding the creamy cannellini beans and the crunchy hazelnuts compliment the silky, bitter greens so beautifully. The real punch of the dish comes from the dressings in a fresh squeeze of lemon juice and drizzle of rich extra virgin olive oil. This will definitely be on my Christmas dinner list this year, either sat on top of crusty bruschetta bread or as a side to a juicy roast dinner.
I hope you love this beauty as much as I do! Would love to hear how you are planning to use this dish too! Enjoy! xxx
- 300g cavolo nero - sliced width ways into 2-3cm pieces
- 4 X large garlic cloves - finely sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 100g hazelnuts - lightly toasted
- 1 X 400g can Cannellini beans
- 1 lemon - juice only
- Good quality extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- Heat the oven to 180℃. Once heated, place the hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast them until fragrant and toasty.
- In a frying pan, heat up 2 tablespoon of olive oil on a medium heat, add the garlic and fry for a minute until fragrant.
- Add the sliced cavolo nero and give it all a good mix. Season with salt and pepper and add a tablespoon of water to the pan and cover it with a lid or a large baking tray (creating a steaming effect).
- Let it steam away for about 10 minutes, checking every few minutes to stir it and add a little more water if it dries up too much.
- Cook the cavolo nero until the texture is to your liking. Remove the lid so the remaining liquid can absorb. Remove from the heat.
- Drain and rinse the cannellini beans and add them to the pan.
- Squeeze over the juice of the lemon (to your taste) and give it a good toss.
- Roughly chop the hazelnuts into all sorts of sizes and add them to the pan.
- Before serving, taste for seasoning and finish off the dish with a generous drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil.
- Serve as a side vegetable, as a healthy lunch or topped on a bruschetta.