Leafy Greens

Leafy Greens


Reproduced with permission from Julie Buiso, Taste Magazine.

Colcannon with Cavolo Nero

  • Serving size: Serves 4-6

  • Cooking time: 30 minutes

If you don’t have any cream, use all milk. Although you don’t want actual lumps in the purée, you do want texture, so use a hand-masher rather than a mouli or potato ricer.


  • 750g mashing potatoes such as Desiree or Agria, peeled and washed

  • 200g Kale Cavolo Nero (black cabbage)

  • 6 spring onions, trimmed and sliced

  • 150ml milk

  • 50ml cream

  • 50g butter


Steam or boil potatoes until tender.

Wash cavolo nero leaves, then strip leaves off stalks and chop roughly. Plunge into a saucepan of gently boiling salted water and cook for about 10 minutes, until tender. Drain, refresh with a little cold water and drain again. Press cavolo nero to release excess water, then wrap in paper towels and squeeze gently to dry further. Chop finely.

When potatoes are half-cooked, put spring onions in a saucepan with the milk and cream and simmer gently for 5 minutes until soft.

Remove potatoes from steaming pot or drain well and return to dry pan. Cover with a clean cloth and leave for 5 minutes to dry off (this concentrates the flavour). Mash potatoes, adding 1 ¼ tsp salt, or to taste, then beat in heated milk and spring onions. Beat in cavolo nero. Dish into a heated bowl, make a well in the centre and drop in the butter. Serve immediately.

From Taste magazine, May 2012.

Cavolo Nero Pesto with Rigatoni

  • Serving size: Serves 4

  • Cooking time: Less than 30 minutes


  • 300g Kale Cavolo Nero (black cabbage)

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

  • 120g free-range NZ smoked middle bacon, chopped

  • 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

  • 3 tiny bird’s-eye chillies, crushed

  • Finely grated zest 1 lemon

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 400g rigatoni

  • 3-4 Tbsp cream

  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese, to serve


Cut centre rib from cavolo nero leaves, then chop leaves coarsely. Cook for 4-5 minutes in gently boiling salted water. Drain. Transfer cavolo nero to a food processor and process to a purée.

Heat olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add bacon and fry until crisp. Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon. Pour off bacon fat from pan. Add extra virgin olive oil, garlic and chillies. Cook for a few minutes, just so the garlic and chillies flavour the oil, then add lemon zest, salt and puréed cavolo nero. Turn off the heat.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in gently boiling well-salted water until al dente.

Reheat cavolo nero, add cream and heat gently until piping hot. Drain pasta and add to pan. Toss everything together and serve immediately in heated bowls, sprinkled with parmesan and crispy bacon.

From Taste magazine, May 2010.

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