Veg Box Vegetable of the Week!

November 25, 2007 at 8:34 pm Leave a comment

Okay, okay. I’m sorry.

I said you’d have to wait till Friday for this new feature. You’ve actually had to wait till Sunday. I could postdate it, but that would be deceitful. The BBC wouldn’t be allowed to do that nowadays, so I’m damned if I’m going to deceive my dear readers.

Anyway, this Friday, we received in our veg box for the first time some cavolo nero.

Cavolo nero is an Italian cabbage with dark green leaves – very dark green, hence the name, which translates as ‘black cabbage’. However, if we give it a poncey Italian name, cabbage seems more exciting than 1960s school dinner fare, which has unfairly influenced my perception of cabbage, even though I wasn’t born until a good 20 years later. I blame the parents.

Cavolo nero has a tangy bite, but a sweet aftertaste, and (for cabbage!) it was rather pleasant.

We just sauteed it in a saucepan with some butter and some sprigs of rosemary and enjoyed it a lot, but it can also be used in a traditional Tuscan soup, and River Cafe Green has a nice recipe involving sausages. I also came across it in pasta on the internet, which looked nice.

According to this tome of wisdom, the plant can grow up to a metre high, and, unusually for a member of the cabbage family, you can pick the leaves and they grow back. “The … leaves should be lightly crinkled and stiff, just the tip bent over. … The wonderful taste develops after the plants have had a few weeks of frost. Leaves picked too early taste bitter and stringy.” Apparently, you can also eat the little leaves in the middle raw in winter salads, but winter salads sound like the kind of thing that are much easier to contemplate in Italy than a badly-insulated house in Berkshire. We like soups and stews and blankets and hot water bottles!


Entry filed under: cavolo nero, veg box.

Interesting article on raw milk from the Guardian I love…

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Most recent ramblings

November 2007
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The Heritage Crafts Network

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“Environmentalists have often been guilty of presenting people with a mental image of the world’s least desirable holiday destination – some seedy bed and breakfast near Torquay, with nylon sheets, cold tea and soggy toast – and expecting them to get excited about the prospect of NOT going there. The logic and the psychology are all wrong.”

Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

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Carlo Petrini

"A gastronome who is not also an environmentalist is an idiot. An environmentalist who is not also a gastronome is, well, sad."

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Raj Patel, at Slow Food Nation

"Biofuels, which is the preposterous policy that we should grow food not to eat it but to set it on fire."

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