Vani from Batasari is our host for this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging and this week I've got Cavolo Nero.
Cavolo Nero has many names - Tuscan Kale, Black Cabbage, Dinosaur Kale and Curly Kale but whatever the name it is still part of the Brassica family. Like all Brassicas, Cavolo Nero has excellent nutritional value and is high in Vitamins A, B and C. It also contains high levels of Beta Carotene as well as Calcium, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus, Potassium, Thiamine and Zinc.
When purchasing Cavolo Nero look for well crinkled, dark green leaves that feel firm to the touch. Cavolo Nero also likes being boiled and being cooked slowly, so it's excellent in braises or stews. One of my favourite ways with Cavolo Nero is in this tart.
The recipe I have in mind today is a two-parter. It begins with a tasty braise of onions, pancetta, fresh tomato and cavolo nero. It then gets placed into individual oven-proof dishes to bake before being topped with an egg which is cooked until the whites have just set leaving the yolk still wonderfully soft - just perfect for dipping with generous slabs of crusty bread.
Baked Eggs with Cavolo Nero
cavolo nero, leaves only, chopped roughly
red onion, finely sliced
pancetta, cut into small cubes
tomatoes, diced roughly, fresh or canned depending on the season
smoked paprika, to taste
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Place a little oil in a pan and over a gentle heat, sauté the onions until softened slightly before adding the pancetta. Continue cooking until the pancetta has browned before adding the chopped Cavolo Nero. Stir it through well and when the leaves have wilted add the diced tomatoes.
Let this bubble away until the tomatoes have broken up - taste and then season with a little smoked paprika.
Spoon this mixture into individual oven proof dishes and place in a pre-heated 180°C oven - bake until the mixture has heated through and the liquid is bubbling.
Remove from the oven and make a small indentation in the centre of each dish - carefully break an egg into this indentation and return to the oven. Cook until the eggwhite has just set, or until cooked to your preference.
When done, sprinkle over with freshly grated Parmigiano and serve at once.
Tagged with Weekend Herb Blogging