This cavolo nero recipe is the perfect side. The tangy and spicy dressing takes the greens to the next level, with garlicky undertones for the best flavour.
This recipe requires minimal effort. You can prep the cavolo nero in under 1 minute and then pop it in the oven for just 6 minutes. Pair it with a protein or carb for a delicious and balanced meal.
The combination of chilli, garlic, lemon and oil is inspired by one of my favourite pastas ‘spaghetti aglio e olio,’ which uses these ingredients along with parsley to form a pasta sauce. These ingredients work equivalently well to flavour this cavolo nero recipe.
The foundation of this recipe/the perfect side dish.
For the tangy hit that brings the baked cavolo nero to life.
For heat. The balance and flavour of the lemon juice, garlic and oil is taken further when there’s a little kick of heat. If you prefer a mild heat, switch the chilli flakes for red pepper flakes.
I used 3 cloves to give this cavolo nero recipe a strong garlic flavour (not too strong though), but feel free to use 1 or 2 cloves if you want a more subtle garlic hit (or if your garlic cloves are big).
I love extra-virgin olive oil for this recipe as the oil is a big element of the flavour, which is why I haven’t used a neutral oil like rapeseed oil.
For a salty crunch to finish the recipe with.
Start by removing the cavolo nero from the toughest part of the stem.
Then in a large bowl, add the lemon juice, chilli flakes, minced garlic, extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt. Mix together with a hand whisk.Throw the torn cavolo nero into the bowl and mix together, ensuring all the cavolo nero is coated with the dressing.
Then spread out the pieces of cavolo nero onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Pop in the oven for 6-8 minutes (keep a close eye, as depending on your oven temperature the Cavolo Nero will cook quickly and you don’t want it to burn)!
Serve with some flakey salt and enjoy!
What is cavolo nero?
Cavolo nero is a form of kale that is darker in colour and with longer leaves that are straighter/less curly than normal kale. I find it to be richer in flavour and it also has a different texture when you eat it.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time/ can I meal prep it?
You can definitely make this for meal prep/make it ahead of time, however when storing and reheating you’ll lose a bit of the crispiness that you get when served immediately. The flavour is still great though! To minimise the crispy issue, you could make the dressing ahead of time and prep the cavolo nero by washing and tearing. Then whenever you want to eat it, just combine a portion with the dressing and bake.
Is cavolo nero healthy?
It’s great for you! It’s a good source of lutein, vitamin K, A and C and a significant source of the B vitamins.
Can I freeze it?
I wouldn’t freeze the cooked/finished product of this recipe but as mentioned above, you could wash and tear the cavolo nero ahead of time, freeze it and then defrost and pat dry when you’re ready to cook.
Can I use normal kale for this recipe instead?
Yes definitely! Just remove any tough stems attached to the kale and follow exactly the same method.
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