Imagine a vegetable that tastes like kale but has the texture of savoy cabbage and you’ve got Cavolo Nero. We’ve been growing it successfully on our allotment in Hitchin for several years now and love it. It’s an Italian cabbage that comes from Tuscany with very dark green almost black leaves. In fact ‘cavolo nero’ translates as ‘black cabbage’.
The seed is sown around April/May time into a prepared seed bed that is then protected from the pigeons (as they seem to love it too!). Once they become large enough to handle we’ll select the healthiest plants for transplanting and re-plant them onto the allotment where we want to over-winter them. Brassicas benefit from having extra lime added to the soil, so I make sure to do that as well. The leaves will be ready to pick and eat from November and will keep going right through the winter.
I think Cavolo Nero is a really versatile vegetable and I like to add it to soups and casseroles or just lightly steam it on it’s own. For more information click here.