Cavolo nero is a brassica that is closely related to kale. So, if you love kale, you are sure to love cavolo nero too! First grown in Italy in 600BC, for most of the year British cavolo nero is now grown in the rich soil of Lincolnshire.
Thanks to its Tuscan heritage and its very distinctive long, dark leaves, cavolo nero is also known as Tuscan kale or more commonly black kale or black cabbage.
Cavolo nero is available, chopped and ready to use from most leading supermarkets and can be used in exactly the same way, and more, as kale.
Whilst it can be used in exactly the same way as its cousin kale, cavolo nero has a rich and delicious taste all of its own that complements a host of dishes. Include cavolo nero in main meals, serve as an accompaniment, partner with meat or fish, or you can even use it to make crisps and cocktails!
Steam, bake, stir fry, braise, boil or microwave, cavolo nero is both quick and easy to cook and adds colour, texture and flavour to so many recipes. Why not try it in traditional dishes from its Italian home, such as soups, pasta and risottos?
For lots of tasty ideas visit our recipe pages
Cavolo nero can play an important part in a healthy balanced diet, and is a tasty and easy way to enjoy one of your five-a-day.
Like kale, it is a good source of lutein, vitamins K, A and C, and a significant source of the B vitamins. It is also a source of fibre and calcium, as well as containing manganese, copper, iron and many other elements.
For more information on what goodness is in a portion of cavolo nero and other vegetables visit our health page.
Nigel, our farmer, is responsible for growing 40 hectares of cavolo nero in Lincolnshire every year. The soil here is extremely moisture retentive and rich in important minerals, making it some of the best soil in Britain.
The cavolo nero story begins with tiny seeds that are raised in large greenhouses, then when they are strong enough they are planted one by one in rows in the ground, using a semi-automated planter.
To ensure that the British crop is available for as long as possible, Nigel and his team will be planting cavolo nero from May (depending on the weather) until July or August. They will then finish harvesting the British crop in early Spring the following year.