Rach likes to say she's been eating kale since before it was cool, and Italians can claim the same. Tuscan kale has been a mainstay in Italian cooking since it was first cultivated in the 18th century. It seems to have as many names (dinosaur, lacinato, cavolo nero, black kale) as it has uses. Its deep green spear-shaped leaves are sweeter and less bitter than other varieties of kale, so it can be braised, sautéed, grilled, roasted—even served raw. Perhaps the best-known Tuscan kale dish is ribollita, a stew made by simmering bread, beans, and veggies, including lots of the leafy greens. Sauté with pancetta for a quick side, or top on crostini with a healthy drizzle of EVOO for a simple app.
This recipe originally appeared in our Fall 2021 issue. Get the magazine here.