Tuesday 25 October 2011

Cavolo Nero with Polenta

Some of my Cavolo Nero has reached maturity - and hence found its way into the kitchen...

This became part of a meal that made use of several home-grown veggies, namely Cavolo Nero, beans, tomatoes and chillis. In this picture the tomatoes are absent because they were in the form of sauce, which came out of the freezer.

Griddled Pork escalopes, served with Soft Polenta with Cavolo Nero,
and Runner beans in tomato sauce (serves 2).

2 Pork escalopes, beaten thin
150 g Polenta meal
300 ml water
6 large leaves of Cavolo Nero, central veins removed
1 large onion, peeled and finely sliced
25 g Parmesan cheese, grated
1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
300 g Runner beans, sliced
200 ml tomato sauce (preferably home-made)

  • Put the onion into a small frying pan with a little oil, and cook very gently until golden brown.
  • Put the griddle pan on to heat, aiming to get it really hot while all the other things are being done.
  • Boil the Runner beans for a few minutes until tender, drain them, put them back into the pan and add the tomato sauce (mine was a tub of the stuff I made a few weeks ago), heating it over a low flame until warmed through.
  • Meanwhile, using the 300 ml water (or more if required to achieve the desired texture) make the polenta according to the manufacturer's instructions (only a total of about five minutes required), add the Parmesan cheese, and stir into it the Cavolo Nero leaves. The soft leaves perform much like spinach - they wilt rapidly and need very little cooking. Stirring them around in the hot polenta for a couple of minutes is all that's required.
  • Add the chopped chilli to the polenta and stir well to distribute it evenly. 
  • Cook the pork escalopes quickly in the hot griddle pan, taking care not to over-cook them.
  • Serve, garnished with the onions.

Wine recommendation: a nice light Italian wine, such as Chianti.

Vegetarian option: replace the pork with an omelette, or a fried egg.

For another variation on the polenta and Cavolo Nero theme, see THIS POST from back in January...

P.S. I am entering this post for the "Simple and in Season" recipe link-up on  Ren Behan's website. If you haven't discovered this yet I think you should have a look. It's FABULICIOUS!


  1. That looks marvellous, I bet it tasted good too.

  2. Mark, honestly, have you thought about writing a cookbook?? Wow!!!

  3. I love beans in tomato sauce, my mum has always made them and I have loved them since I was a kid. Fabulous stuff. I like the polenta with Cavolo Nero idea, I read your old post - did you ever find out how to get rid of the lumps?

  4. Liz; No, I have not found a definitive way of preventing lumps in the polenta. I did try "slaking" it [mixing the flour to a paste with a little cold water first], which was quite successful, but I think it is largely a matter of luck - and constant vigorous stirring.

  5. Looks delicious. It's lovely to use lots of home grown goodies in a meal.

  6. Yum! That about covers it really.

  7. We eat lots of polenta in Croatia and I know that this meal of yours is simply delicious. You seem to enjoy cooking, just like my brother. Bravo!

  8. I remember you talking about the Cavolo Nero before - does this mean you are around about a blogaversary?

  9. Hi Lucy; Yes, I have written about CN before - these days it is a regular feature in my garden - but my blogaversary was in August.

  10. That looks very nice. Will try that at the weekend! Never made Poe ta before but I do love it! Cheers

  11. Agh! It's not letting me leave a comment, but I will persevere! I wanted to say that you may have convinced me to try growing Cavolo Nero, I've always thought it beautiful, but never enjoyed eating it.

  12. Using polenta in cooking is quite new thing to me. The other day I wanted to make sweetcorn muffin and one of the ingredients was cornmeal. I had trouble looking for it and then I realise cornmeal is polenta. Polenta an Italian word I guess? Since I just bought polenta last week and still have heaps of it this recipe comes handy. Looks good. Thanks Mark for sharing.

  13. came over from ren's, because this does look amazing! I love cavolo nero , would probbaly enjoy them cooked anyhow!


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