08 January 2013

Crostini di Cavolo Nero (Tuscan Cabbage or Kale Crostini)



It's becoming a family habit to go to the farmer's market on most weekends.  The quality of all the food we had been buying there are genuinely good, biological and produced around the area.  Exactly the qualities we are looking for.  The whole market has a strong amicable spirit and everyone seems to make time to speak with the buyers.  I always walk out of that market one notch smarter than when I walked in.  

The last time we were there, my kids were treated with white pizza, salame, cheese, biscuits and fruit while we were going around shopping.  Every vendor had something to give and they had these determined looks that they will be stuffing the kids with good food.  I think if they can drink wine, they would be given a glass each too. 


The first time we were there, we spoke with a representative of the Comune di Roma (Municipality of Rome) and we found out that all the stalls in the market are rent-free,  It is a project of the Comune to help farmers sell directly to the consumers and to promote Chilometro Zero (Kilometer Zero) produce.  Chilometro Zero products are the fresh produce coming from the farmers of the area, without traveling for kilometers to put down the travel costs and to keep the freshness of the food.  For this reason, I patronize the fruits and vegetables of the season grown in the area unless I need something out of season.  


Cavolo nero (click on it to learn more) is one of the reasons why I had been frequenting the market lately.  The farmer from whom I buy most of my vegetables and all my tomatoes has a little production of it in his farm.  It's a wonderful and healthy vegetable and my husband and I are crazy about it but it is just difficult to find.  

Aside from putting them in soups, I love sautéing them with anchovies, chili & garlic then use them as toppings to toasted bread.  Its simplicity is astounding but the flavors that meet your palate will astound you more.  The last time I served this to friends, I had to take out the container of the remaining cavolo nero after we finished all the crostini.  We dished out every last bit and I swear we could have licked our spoons if we could have.


 

Crostini di Cavolo Nero (Tuscan Cabbage or Kale Crostini)

Ingredients:
Serves 4
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 chili, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, (1 minced & 1 halved for rubbing on the bread)
  • 6 fillets anchovies
  • 250 g. chopped cavolo nero (Tuscan cabbage or kale)
  • 1 cup water
  • slices of bread
Directions:
  1. Over medium heat, in a saucepan, sauté the garlic, chili (if using) & anchovies, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the cavolo nero when the anchovies melt.  Cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the water.  Cook another 20 minutes or until water evaporates.  
  4. Season with salt (if still needed because anchovies are already salty) and pepper.  
  5. Toast the bread in a bread toaster, oven or on a griddle.
  6. Rub the halved garlic on the warm bread.  Skip this if you don't like garlic.  
  7. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on the bread.  
  8. Put the cavolo nero on the bread.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil on top.
  9. Serve immediately while warm.


14 comments:

  1. I love markets even if the markets here are pretty basic. Cavolo Nero is not that easy to come by but there are other greens that will benefit from this recipe. It is actuallly the sort of thing we eat with rice but I never thought of eating it with bread. I will have to try that out. Marvelous photos as always. Yours photos cheer me up, Rowena.

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    1. I do exactly the same thing to broccoli rabe, another green leafy vegetable that has a great flavor. I never actually thought of eating them with rice. You gave me an idea! I usually serve them as crostini topping, side dish or mixed with pasta. Thank you for visiting Adora! I really appreciate it!

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  2. I love shopping at the farmers' markets and forming friendships with the vendors. What a scrumptious crostini, I love your photos!

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    1. It's true Laura, I love that kind of service too that you don't get from large supermarkets anymore. There is no personal touch and the quality is always just acceptable.

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  3. Oh Yes, my favorite kind of kale-love your recipe and plan on making this one soon;-) In fact I have a bunch of it in the fridge right now that I'm planing on adding to a pot of soup I'm making later this week. But no worries there is plenty of cavolo nero in our farmers markets right now-just waiting to go on crostini;-)
    Thanks for sharing Rowena;-)

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    1. Lucky you Patty. If we are neighbors, I would pop in to your house and invite myself to your kale. LOL! Cavolo nero is so hard to come by here. I hope you do get to try this one and I hope you will like it too.

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  4. I wish we had easy access to such markets here but there are only a few of them around. And Italians are so passionate about their food that it is a pleasure to listen to them talk about their produce. I must try this with a local equivalent to that cabbage.

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    1. I think you have cavolo nero in Australia. I have a link to an Australian site about cavolo nero being popular in your country. It is also a hard vegetable to find in Rome.

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  5. We also shop at local farmers markets, they are the best! All summer fresh sweet corn and tomatoes are so beautiful. I buy also local honey, we are so lucky to live around so many farms. I remember Italian markets, they full of fresh vegetables olives, salami. Makes my mouth watering, just thinking about it-))) Very good recipe, thank you!

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    1. I agree Yelena, farmers markets are the best for fresh produce and local production of food. I also buy our honey from local producers in the markets. There's no comparison with the commercial ones. Thanks!

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  6. I am excited about this post- my daughter and I are trying to learn new ways to prepare kale! This crostini looks like something that we would love! I am so impressed that all the stalls in the market are rent-free....fantastic way to help everyone!
    ~Joy from Yesterfood

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    1. Hi Joy! Nice to see you here and thank you for the visit. I hope you and your daughter will like this recipe. It is a very tasty treat.

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  7. Mmmm, I've had the curly kale before but it tends to be quite pricey here in Australia. I use it sauteed with garlic and olive oil or add it to smoothies or soups and stews.
    The other day though I saw the Tuscan Kale at the supermarket for only 50c a bunch and bought 3 of them. I found your recipe and tried it out tonight - delish!!!! I added half a sliced red onion to it and a dash of balsamic at the end, just to sweeten it up a tiny bit more for the kids. They ate it all up!!!!
    Thanks for sharing that recipe!!!

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    1. You're welcome! I'm happy that it had been useful for you especially for the kids!

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