For my latest Riverford box I decided to get the mini box. I usually get the small box, but sometimes struggle, especially with those pesky (yet delicious) carrots. Actually this time it was nothing to do with the amount of food really, but the fact that this week’s mini box contained cavalo nero and beetroot, two of my absolute favourite vegetables.
Somehow the cavalo nero has evaded me all season. I get a fortnightly box, and it always seems to be listed in the box contents in the week I’m not due a box! I know I could order some extra, but I like the arbitrariness of the box contents and the challenge of using them up.
The timing was perfect, as yesterday I spotted a recipe in the Independent by Skye Gyngell, for tagliatelle with cavolo nero. Skye is a culinary genius, so I knew I could trust her with my favourite winter leaves.
I was very, very right. Nothing to do with my cooking I’m sure, as I’m still not completely with it after a few days of fever and upset stomach (vaccine side effects which left me feeling oh-so sorry for myself, because I am silly). I ate slowly, still being a bit careful of my tummy, so my lovely guest Jenny had finished hers and dug into the pot for seconds by the time I finished!
Definitely one to do again the next time the elusive leaves turn up in my box.
ETA oh people! Cavalo nero is an Italian vegetable (no? really?) which translates as “black cabbage” or “black kale”. It tastes much better than either cabbage or kale. It’s most often used in ribollita, a hearty tuscan soup made from leftovers (hence ribollita: reboiled). Admittedly it’s not so easy to get hold of, but it is getting more popular in the UK. I have seen it at Waitrose, no doubt you can get it at Borough, or of course you can order it from Riverford – which is my preference as everything arrives so fresh and tasty, a world apart from supermarket veg.