Cavolo nero goes by many names: Tuscan cabbage, black kale, Italian kale. Whatever the label, you’ll spot it for its dark-green slender leaves with a thin stalk, sold by the bunch. When cooked – and it’s best savoured this way – cavolo nero yields a slightly bitter, vegetal flavour; it’s a tough customer, too, which means it can withstand the roils and boils of stews, soups and braises.
You’ll often find cavolo nero in Italian or Italian-leaning dishes, cosying up with big, rich and earthy flavours like salami, sausage, green or brown lentils, chickpeas, and garlic. It makes good friends with white proteins such as chicken, rabbit and fish too. Below, all our favourite ways to cook with cavolo nero.