Curly kale (or cavolo nero) with rosemary and chilli

Curly kale (or cavolo nero) with rosemary and chilli

Simple cavolo nero with chilli and garlic makes excellent as a side dish with roast chicken, or as a topping for bruschetta - griddle slices of good bread, rub with raw garlic, top with the cooked kale and then finish with a spoonful of mild, creamy goats' cheese.


  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 medium or hot fresh red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 250g/9oz curly kale or cavolo nero, trimmed of tough stems, rinsed and cut into 1cm/½in thick slices
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the olive oil in a deep, heavy-bottomed lidded pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, turn down the heat and fry gently until very tender.

  2. Add the rosemary, chilli and garlic and fry for one more minute.

  3. Add the kale or cavolo nero and season with salt. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, reduce the heat to its absolute minimum and leave to cook gently for about 20 minutes. Stir once after five minutes, then again ten minutes later.

  4. Remove the rosemary stalks, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve at once.