In a couple of weeks, the black cabbage will be no longer in season. It will start to bloom and that’s it, next round, next October. A typical ingredient of Tuscan winter cuisine, it is also one of our favorites and you can imagine with what pleasure we have accepted the invitation of Loriana and Ilaria from Agriturismo Renai & Monte for a last snack on bread and black cabbage (and never snack was tastier!).
Few ingredients, a simple recipe, many variations on the theme.
Let’s start from the black cabbage: Ilaria went to pick it up at the nearby Poggio ai Grilli farm. Bread is the half whole wheat bread from the Burresi Bakery in Gambassi Terme, the EVO oil is coming from the Renai e Monte’s property. Salt, chilli and garlic to state, as much as you like.
HOW TO MAKE IT?
Wash the black cabbage, remove the hardest ribs and boil it in salted water. The first secret lays in here: cabbage should not be stewed, especially if the leaves are tender [next time we will try steaming!.] Loriana left the leaves in the water for less than ten minutes.
While the cabbage is to boil in the pot, cut the bread into slices and let them toast on both sides. Beware of the edges, they are the first to burn. Meanwhile, in a pan, heat extra virgin olive oil with garlic and chilli. Drain the black cabbage, sauté it in the pan to let it flavor. It will take just a few minutes and then assemble the ingredients.
There are two ‘secrets’ we have stolen from Loriana:
- when the cabbage is in the pan – still moist from its cooking water – add the slices of bread to it to make them flavor.
- beside the usual cannellini beans or pecorino cheese, the cabbage makes a nice pairing with the bacon. Here we call it rigatino and should be asked thinly cut, so it becomes crunchy!
P.S Loriana is an agrichef, she cooks and she teaches cooking upon appointments. The Tuscany culinary tradition is kept safe in kitchen like hers…