Cavolo nero with alliums (garlic and onion) and herbs

This very basic way of cooking cavolo nero is particularly good if you have some really giant, slightly tough leaves.

It’s juicy so it goes well with anything which might need a bit of sauce.

For more about cavolo nero, follow this link.


Recipe for cavolo nero with alliums and herbs

Serves 4


  • 250g/9 oz cavolo nero… or more if it contains some tree-trunk stems
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed with 1 tsp smoked salt
  • generous (and I mean generous) pinch of Urfa pepper flakes
  • a few grinds of nutmeg
  • whatever herbs you have to hand (in winter you could add a stem or two of rosemary and remove before serving; in early autumn you could extend the allium theme and use chives)
  • olive oil and butter


  1. Heat some olive oil gently in a shallow pan which has a lid. Peel and chop the onion, add to the pan.
  2. Take the tough stems out of the cavolo nero, shred it finely.
  3. When the onion is just becoming translucent (this can take up to ten minutes), add the crushed, salted garlic, the Urfa pepper flakes, the nutmeg and the herbs. Continue to fry for a minute or two.
  4. Add the cavolo nero. Cover the pan. Cook gently for about half an hour, stirring every now and then.
  5. Serve with a knob of butter melting enticingly atop, and an extra grind of nutmeg.



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