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Cavolo Nero with Chick Peas

Everyone raves about this vegetable dish – it’s easy and delicious. Cavolo nero is the only kale grown in Italy and is especially popular in Tuscany. It is wrinkly, dark green, and has a sweet flavour. It is great cooked with pasta, soup, beans, or roasts. In this dish it is particularly moreish, braised slowly and finished with white beans. Beautiful fresh cavolo nero is available from Phil at Mu Organics in EQ Village Markets. Cook slowly and savour the moment.

Ingredients

1 cup cannellini beans (can use tinned)
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
1 large onion, finely diced
2 leeks, white parts only, diced
2 bunches cavolo nero, the leaves, stripped from stems and slivered
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra to finish

Method
  1. If using soaked beans, drain, and cook for 1.5 hrs in slowly boiling water till tender. Strain when finished.
  2. Chop all the vegetables. Rinse the cavolo nero and leeks but don’t dry them.
  3. Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy wide skillet. Add the onion and leeks and cook over medium-low heat until the onion is soft but not browned, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the cavolo nero, garlic, parsley, and 2 teaspoons salt. Cook with the heat on low until the vegetables are soft and volume greatly reduced, about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Add the beans along with a cup of their cooking liquid to the pan and simmer until the greens are completely tender. Taste for salt and season with pepper.
  6. Serve in a bowl and drizzle olive oil over just before serving. You can also serve it over garlic-rubbed toast, drizzled with olive oil.

Note: you can substitute chick peas instead of the cannellini, or use both!

Yield: 6 serves