The other day we made a chicken with seranno ham. We combine the meats with truffle potato gnocchi and kale (cavolo nero) in a sage butter sauce. It is a yummy dish that we found in the “500 tapas” cookbook that I’ve mentioned here by Christine Watson. It takes some work due to the making of the homemade potato gnocchi. I’ll post about that in a future blog. For now, I simply want to point out the cavolo nero.
Cavolo nero, literally black cabbage in Italian, is what we call Kale. Kale is making a bit of a comeback lately, but it has not always been a fan favorite. Even in Italian, the word cavolo or cabbage is not a word that brings delight. A figure of speech that I recently learned goes “giornata del cavolo“, literally meaning day of cabbage, is a way of saying crappy day! Another one is “col cavolo”, “with cabbage”, meaning “yeah right!, as if!, no way!”
So, how does the crappy “cabbagy” green/black bitter veggie get redeemed?. . . a simple solution, some olive oil and sea salt! Cut the kale into bite-sized pieces, generously coat with olive oil, spread on a baking sheet, sprinkle with plenty of sea salt, and place them in a pre-heated 350° oven for 12-15 minutes or your desired crispness. What a delight this demon vegetable becomes when crispy and salty olive oily coated!
This digression with kale is all by way of saying that we didn’t have any other vegetables in the house when we made the chicken. So, we came up with the idea of using the leftover kale for some of the chips as a side with the dish. Enjoy them as a contorno (side), or for snacking and help turn a “giornata del cavolo” into a healthy tasty salty sojourn.