Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cavolo Nero

"Cavolo Nero," also known as Lacinato, Tuscan, & Dinosaur Kale, means black cabbage in Italian. Its dark leaves beg to be cooked with something bright. When a cook's appetite won't stir after thumbing through books and blogs, it's time to play with intuition and the contrast of colors- perhaps the dark leaf of kale against bright orange. Isn't it possible that food is meant to please our eyes as much as our taste? For inspiration, I like to set out all the vegetables from the CSA on the kitchen counter and arrange it like a bouquet. Looking at the share this week, I am drawn to the colors of black kale and the bright orange and yellow hues of citrus.

Chef Tim Kilcoyne at the Local Cafe features Rio Gozo Farm's kale in his Cavolo Nero pizza. It is a wonderful wood fired pizza with kale and house made ricotta cheese. A masterpiece on its own, but I like to toss a side of bright orange winter squash & bacon on top. It's like going from the Mona Lisa to Botticelli's Birth of Venus.

Kale suggestions:
The leaf requires some effort to cook, you'll want to remove the tougher ribs from the leaf for even cooking.
  • Add it fresh or sauteed to your Tuscan bean soup
  • Sauté in a walnut oil and garlic and toss with chunks of winter squash and chevre.
  • Braised kale with sweet onions, topped with the zest of your tangerines.
  • Make a kale ceviche with your lemons, then drain the excess liquid and add olive oil, salt, and tangerine segments.

Other ideas on what to do with Kale Click Here

Please let us know how you like your kale tonight.

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There is plenty of gozo at Rio Gozo Farm. That is JOY in Spanish and joy is one of the most dependable products we have. Gozo is commonly found in gardens and farms. Once you get a little gozo up and going it is very tolerant of most pests, withstands dry periods, and grows with a modicum of fertilizer. After gozo becomes a staple of one's diet, it goes with about anything. Actually folks crave it so much it is a wonder everyone does not have a patch of it growing close at hand. Grab up some gozo and get with the flow.