cavolo nero

Pronunciation: [KAH-voh-loh NEH-roh]

This member of the kale family goes by myriad names including Tuscan kale, Tuscan cabbage, dinosaur kale, palm tree cabbage, black cabbage, black kale and Lacinato. Cavolo nero was developed in Tuscany during the 1700s and has become a staple in Tuscan cooking. It has very dark green (almost black), wrinkled leaves that are 10 to 12 inches long and very narrow. They are quite tender and have a mild flavor. Cavolo nero is prized in soups such as the traditional Tuscan ribollita. It's also good simply sautéed with olive oil and a little garlic. It's available during the fall and winter months. Choose heads with fresh-looking, dark green leaves with no sign of wilting. Refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to 5 days; wash just before using.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

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