Cavolo Nero has been a late addition to our national larder - while euro-centric crops such as zucchini and artichokes were easily available in the 80's it wasn't until 2006 that Cavolo Nero finally arrived on our tables. Unless you grew it yourself, you would have to make due with silver beet (chard) or spinach and while they are interchangeable, there's just something about Cavolo Nero that puts it ahead.
Today I'm making Cavolo Nero fritters - an easy dish to prepare ahead of time and fry off when you're ready to eat.
250 grams cavolo nero (prepared weight), approx
25 grams grated parmesan, approx
soft breadcrumbs (made from day old bread)
fine breadcrumbs, for coating
Strip the leaves from the stems - give them a good rinse and then boil until soft - unlike both chard and spinach, cavolo nero does appreciate being boiled. Drain and squeeze out all the excess liquid. Using a knife or a mezzaluna, chop finely.
Gather the chopped cavolo nero and give it another squeeze - place in a bowl. Add in an egg, the grated parmesan and a large pinch of ground nutmeg. Stir to combine and then add in enough breadcrumbs to form a firm mixture. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Divide the mixture to 6 form equal sized balls - flatten slightly to form a patty. Dust each lightly in fine breadcrumbs and place in the fridge until ready to use.
Fry in a mix of oil and butter until golden on both sides and warmed through.
These are excellent for breakfast, topped with a lovely runny poached egg and a few slices of crisp chorizo.