“Ma che cavolo?”, Ie “What is that shit about?” is heard in Italy when the other, much more vulgar C-word is avoidable. Germany can pack with its similarly vegetable, but much safer blasphemies like cucumber troop and rapeseed. The cavolo, the cabbage – or rather: the cavolo nero – is encountered in Italy during the winter months but also far from any problem, namely in the soup pot.
Black cabbage is considered a classic winter vegetable and is certainly found in every Ribollita. The secret of this vegetable soup, a classic of Tuscan cuisine: the more often it is boiled (ribollire to boil again), the better. The ingredients are not very mysterious, but rather basics of the poor kitchen, the simple kitchen: onions and carrots, cabbage and potatoes – and of course the Cavolo Nero. It is not only called black cabbage – because of its dark green, almost black leaves, reminiscent of savory cabbage with its curly structure, but also palm cabbage. After all, it looks like a small palm tree with its slightly curly leaves on the stem. Such a vegetable palm looks good in any winter garden, but not necessarily in ours: black cabbage doesn’t really have to deal with sub-zero temperatures – unlike green or Brussels sprouts, varieties that like the frost for even more flavor.
Young black cabbage sprouts are considered delicious because they are so soft that they can be put raw into a salad or into a smoothie, because of course: Superfood! The black cabbage is also suitable for pesto, as an accompaniment to polenta, to wrap, as usual with Greek grape leaves, or as a crunchy vegetable chips from the oven (seasoned with salt, pepper, chilli and a little olive oil). ). In any case, the black cabbage belongs to the Ribollita as the daily “che cavolo” on the streets of Italy.
The food journalist and cookbook author Emiko Davies, who came to Italy from Australia in 2005 and there classically fell in love with a Tuscan sommelier, prepares the ribollito for four people in his cookbook “Florence” (Dorling Kindersley) as follows (though her recipe). classic differs from that not really different from traditional Italian cooks): First, she boils 250 grams of cannellini beans and cleanses half of those beans with about 125 ml of the cooking water until smooth. Finally, in a large saucepan, sauté a small onion, garlic, half a celery stalk, 5-6 stalks of parsley and 30 g of bacon (or streaked bacon) – all finely chopped and cut – over low heat. for 10 minutes. When the onion pieces are translucent, add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and heat everything for 2 minutes. Then add chopped cabbage, thistle, black cabbage (about 125 g each) and sliced potato, pour 1 liter of water over everything and season with salt and pepper. Then add the cleaned and whole beans and let the soup cover uncovered for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are cooked through.
At the end, remove the pan from the oven and add 125 g of bread cubes (the orthodoxy recommends stale, senseless white bread, but other things work as well). Let stand for at least 20 minutes with the lid closed. To better spread the wet bread, stir once so that the ribollita is as thick as porridge. Please reheat gently, over and over again, and serve with a drop of good olive oil. Best new harvest oil that currently arrives fresh on the shelves.
Black cabbage goes well with soup and pasta
But the black cabbage can also be used in pasta: sauté it with garlic and onions, add white wine and broth and add potatoes, carrots, canellini beans and tomatoes, as well as lots of parsley, sage, some pecorino and roasted pines and some finely chopped chopped pieces of untreated lemon. In addition there are thick noodles and certainly a loud “Delicious!” at the table.
The black cabbage may not have finished in every kitchen in this country, but you should definitely make up for it in this sad winter. Only his brother is a little more versatile Brassica oleracea longata. Cabbage, with its trunk up to three meters high, has long been used as a walking stick on the island of Jersey after it has been dried, sanded and varnished. What the hell!