Casserole of Cavolo Nero (Italian Black Kale)

This dish is nicked from our friend John McCormick and others in Belfast at Helens Bay Organic. They say: “This is a warming dish, perfect for colder nights – serve it with roast chicken or on its own with baked potatoes.”

Given that, despite it being May, it’s still freezing, so we may still need a few dishes like this for a while yet.

Serves 6


1 head of cavolo nero (black kale)
4 tablespoons olive oil
5oz (125g) pancetta (or streaky bacon) – thinly sliced
1 onion – thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary – chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
200g tinned tomatoes (chopped if whole)
200ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper


Wash the kale and blanch it for 2 minutes in boiling water. Drain it and shred coarsely.

Heat the oil in a large pan. Fry the pancetta or bacon, onions, and rosemary leaves in the oil. Add the kale and tomato, check seasoning, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the hot stock and continue to cook uncovered until the stock has almost evaporated. Serve steaming hot.

See more Helens Bay Recipes here.