Cavolo Nero is such an underrated vegetable, often over shadowed by its more common kale cousin. It is incredibly versatile and can be boiled, stir-fried, steamed or massaged and eaten raw. Here I have used it to create a delicious gratin style side dish. I have combined it with Planti cooking fraiche, which is a great alternative to a cream in a dairy free gratin. Planti cooking fraiche is a lot lighter and fresher than other plant based cream alternatives and works in perfect harmony with the slightly peppery Cavolo Nero. I topped the gratin with crispy breadcrumbs and chopped hazelnuts, which add a delicious earthy flavour. The gratin is super simple to prepare and best served straight from the oven, while it is still bubbling and delicious.
This is a paid collaboration with Planti
Cavolo Nero and hazelnut gratin – serves 6
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
30 g vegan butter/ margarine
75 g fresh breadcrumbs
2 tsp dried rosemary
400 g cavolo nero
4 dl/ 400 ml Planti Cooking fraiche
1.5 dl/ 150 ml Planti soya drink
a good grating of fresh nutmeg
45 g vegan parmesan grated
50 g whole hazelnuts, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees c.
Start by frying the chopped garlic in the olive oil, until it is just turning golden, remove from the pan and set to one side.
In the same garlic pan, add the vegan butter/ margarine and melt until bubbling. Take off the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs and dried Rosemary.
Rip the tough stems from the cavolo nero and massage well to break down the leaves a little. Layer up in a large ovenproof dish.
In a separate bowl whisk together the Planti cooking fraiche and soya drink. Season with salt and pepper and a good grating of fresh nutmeg. Pour over the prepared cavolo nero and use your hands to coat all the leaves with the cooking fraiche mixture.
Top with the breadcrumbs, vegan parmesan and chopped hazelnuts, before covering with foil and placing in the oven. Cook for 20 minutes before removing the foil and cooking for a further 20 – 25 minutes until golden and the breadcrumbs have crisped up. You can replace the foil if the gratin is becoming too dark.