Savoury, salty, sweet and zesty, this Sicilian-style kale has it all! Use cavolo nero or substitute your favourite greens to make this delicious dish.
Italian food is always a win in our house. But there are many regional variations, and Italy is a big place! One of our favourite ways to prepare leafy greens is ‘Sicilan style’.
Sicilian cuisine is influenced not only by Italian flavours but also by the cooking of Greece, Spain, France and the Arab world. In particular, the use of dried fruits, nuts and spices can give dishes an Arab or North African feel.
Combination of flavours
This Sicilian-style kale is wonderfully tasty. It combines cavolo nero (sometimes called Tuscan kale or black cabbage) with dried currants, pine nuts, zesty lemon and briny capers to make a really mouthwatering side dish.
Eat your greens…
We often get bags of miscellaneous green vegetables in our organic veg box and this Sicilian-style dish is a trusted way of using them. If you don’t have cavolo nero you can use all sorts of leafy greens such as curly kale, swiss chard, pointed cabbage, spinach, or even something like sprouting broccoli.
Simply shred the leaves and add to the recipe in place of the Tuscan kale. Some greens, like spinach, will wilt down more so you might want to increase the amount you use.
Make it a meal!
Although we usually eat this delicious Sicilian-style kale as a side dish, a few simple tweaks will turn it into a whole meal. For instance, add a can of drained white beans and toss with pasta for a quick and simple supper.
You can also add drained canned tuna instead of, or as well as the beans. Serve with a slice of toasted sourdough for a delicious and healthy meal.
I’m not promising an authentic taste of Sicily, but this delicious recipe is certainly inspired by the flavours of the island. Try it yourself and see if you enjoy this Sicilian-style kale as much as we do!
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Sicilian-style kale with pine nuts, currants, lemon & capers
- 200 g cavolo nero (Tuscan kale) (approx. 7 oz.)
- 1 medium/large onion
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp currants (or use raisins or sultanas)
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 1 tsp capers, drained
- ½ lemon, zest only
- Salt, to taste
- Remove the tough rib from each leaf of cavolo nero, then soak the leaves in salted water to remove any bugs. Rinse thoroughly, then shred the leaves into 1½-2 cm (approx. 1 inch) strips.
- Peel the onion and slice finely. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over a medium heat, and gently fry the onion, stirring occasionally, until soft and starting to brown - about 8-10 minutes.
- Add the shredded kale and mix with the onions. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the leaves are wilted.
- Add the currants + 2 tbsp water. Stir in the pine nuts, capers and lemon zest.
- Taste the kale and adjust the salt if necessary - the amount of salt you need will depend on how salty your capers were.
- Cook for another minute or two, then transfer to a bowl and serve.
If you love kale, cavolo nero and other leafy greens, you’ll probably also enjoy this creamy smoked salmon and kale pasta, this delicious cavolo nero and hazelnut pesto, and this yummy spinach and mushroom stroganoff.