This old world variety of cabbage is now all the rage with cooks and chefs round the country. It is widely available in seeds www.kingseeds.co.nz or as plants in some garden centres. Looking like a cross between Cabbage and Kale, Cavolo Nero forms no head and grows up in the form of a palm tree with narrow dark green leaves in a Rosette on top of the stem. Old very ornamental rustic Italian variety. Use leaves as you would Cabbage or Kale.
When, where and how to plant:
Soil needs to be well dug over prior to planting with a good general fertilizer added. Plant in full sun. Sow seed in late spring or plant out seedlings once the ground temperatures warm after winter. A second sowing or planting in autumn will produce a late winter/spring crop
Keep well watered through the dry periods. Cavolo Nero can take anything from 8 to 10 weeks to mature. Once planted protect from slugs, snails with slug and snail bait. White butterflies with Derris Dust and aphids with an insect spray.
Harvest leaves as they mature, regular picking will ensure you will get a long cropping period.
How to use:
Cavolo nero is an excellent vegetable choice for stir-fries and Asian recipes. Use as a substitute for cabbage in coleslaw.