Cavolo nero, also known as black cabbage, is a loose-leafed cabbage from Tuscany, Italy. Cavolo nero is an extremely versatile vegetable, and can be used in a number of different ways from soup to salads and here as pesto. Our friends and neighbours at Fifteen Cornwall use a lot of cavolo nero and were kind enough to share this recipe with us.
Pesto partners well with all kinds of pasta, Fifteen served theirs with gnocchi and a bit more Parmesan for good taste. Enjoy!
300g Cavolo Nero
200g Chestnuts (pre-cooked & chopped)
4 cloves of garlic (peeled & chopped)
30g Parmesan (grated)
250ml good olive oil
Salt & pepper (to taste)
Remove the stalks from the cavolo nero and pop it into a pan of boiling, salted water and cook until soft, drain and leave to cool.
In a pestle and mortar start smashing the chestnuts and garlic to a puree with a little splash of the olive oil. Next finely chop the cavolo nero and add it to the chestnut puree. Then, a little at a time, add the olive oil as you go and when you have a good rough paste, add the grated parmesan and season to taste.
Store the pesto in an airtight container (a Kilner jar for example), cover the top of the pesto with olive oil and keep it in the fridge. After each use, just keep topped up with olive oil and the pesto should last for at least 2-3 weeks.