If you’ve never heard of cavolo nero, you clearly haven’t been spending enough time scrolling through foodie blogs on Instagram. Cavolo nero, also known as black kale, is often described by its fans as kale’s Italian cousin, and has been hailed by bloggers as the next big thing in the world of food.
But how do we cook with it, I hear you ask? Well, that’s where this Cheesy Cavolo Nero Pie comes in. Layering feta with caramelised onions, pine nuts, and spices, this relatively healthy dish feels decadent enough to please the hungriest of guests. The cavolo nero’s rich, nutty flavour pairs perfectly with the creaminess from the feta; and the parsley, dill, and mint add a freshness which perfectly compliments the starring ingredient.
Speaking of which, it’s probably worth mentioning that this innocent-looking leafy green is jam-packed with antioxidants, and high in vitamins A, C, K, and also has fibre, calcium manganese and iron. So next time you face a dinner party disaster, give this beautifully layered pie a try. We can assure you that your guests will be more than happy to eat their greens with this little treat on the menu.
What You’ll Need:
2 bags cavolo nero
1 large onion, diced, cooked slowly in 1 tbsp olive oil for 20 minutes
16 sheets pre-rolled filo pastry
500g feta cheese
1 tbsp each of dill, parsley and mint, finely chopped
pine nuts, a small fistful, toasted and cooled
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and left whole
2 eggs, beaten well, plus another for brushing the pastry
1 tsp sesame seeds or black onion seeds, for topping
How You Make It:
Season your water with salt. Add your cavolo nero and blanch for 3 minutes. Drain, squeeze, cool and chop relatively fine. Pop in a large mixing bowl. To the chopped cabbage, add the herbs, cheese, pepper, nuts, herbs, cumin and the two beaten eggs. Check for seasoning- it should be about right if your cabbage water was salty enough (the feta is quite salty).
Lay out a sheet of filo. Brush with oil then lay another sheet on top (move quite quickly here). Repeat until you have 4 sheets in an oiled pile. Brush the top half of the top sheet with oil. Along the bottom, lay your cavolo mix in a ‘log’ along the width of the filo sheet. Roll the filo over the mix and into a long, fat cigar. Wind this into a large, oiled skillet. Repeat until you have 3 or 4 snakes in a spiral and the dish is full. It’s a good idea to cover the dish with brush with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds/onion seed. Bake for 40 minutes at 180°C or until the filo is crisp and brown and the filling hot. Dig in!