Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Cavolo nero with garlicky butter beans

The first recipe I chose to cook from Vegetarian Suppers, the cookbook I won from Oraphan of Easy Veggie was Polenta squares with gorgonzola cream, braised greens and cannellini beans. Of course I had to adapt it a little. Deborah Madison suggests chard or broccoli rabe, the only green growing in my tiny garden plot at home is cavolo nero, so that is what I used. Cavolo nero is an Italian cabbage with dark green leaves that has a subtle flavour. It can be used in most cabbage recipes. This was quite tasty actually and the polenta was a nice change from potatoes and rice.
I am submitting this recipe to Grow your own (GYO), which celebrates it second birthday. It was started by Andrea Meyer of Andrea's Recipes. It is a twice-a-month blogging event that celebrates the foods we grow ourselves and the dishes we create using our homegrown products. GYO#39 is hosted by Nate at House of Annie. The rules are really simple: Make a dish that uses at least one item from your very own garden, backyard or farm and post about it during the month. Your garden doesn’t have to be big. Tiny garden plots and container gardens are welcome, which of course suits me to the ground now! Also if you’ve foraged for a plant, herb or fruit, they are also eligible for entry. You can also use something that was given to you, but the giver must have personally grown the vegetable, fruit or herb. If you paid for it, then it doesn’t count. So why not participate. It’s also a great way of showcasing what is in season and growing locally in your area.
Polenta triangles with gorgonzola cream and Cavolo nero with garlicky butter beans
Serves 3 - 4
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely sliced
2 – 4 cloves of garlic, sliced
Generous bunch of cavolo nero, washed and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 x 400g tin of butter beans, drained and rinsed
Heat the oil in a wide pan. Add onion and cool over medium-high heat, until translucent, then add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes, that add the green, season with salt and cook until the greens have all collapsed, add 100ml of water and turn down heat to cook for 15 minutes, then add the butter beans and cook for about 5 minutes until heated through. Check for seasoning and serve.


  1. There seems to be a sudden rush on polenta. I've cooked it two weekends running now and I've seen it on several blogs. I really like it, but it's a bit intensive standing over the pan having to stir constantly for rather a long time. I may have missed something, but couldn't see the recipe?

  2. That looks so pretty and presentable! I really admire how you plate your dishes.

  3. Hi Choclette,
    No you haven't missed anything. My nephew bought me up a couple of packets from a deli Wallys in Cardiff. Its the quick cooking polenta, that's why I didn't post the recipe. Once it had set, i cut it into pieces and fried it in a little olive oil till golden on both sides. I have some left over which I am going to use as 'chips'.

  4. Golly this dish looks good. We eat polennta or as we call it Coo Coo (cooked with ochro/ plain trinidadian style) about every two weeks. You can get ready made polenta set into thick rectangles about 6" x 4" x 2" in tesco in the pasta aisle if you want to forgo making it but I haven't bought it in years since an Asian shop opened near by allowing me to get hold of ground cornmeal.

    Polenta sliced as you have done sprinkled with olive oil, ground black pepper, stripped rosmary leaves and a squeeze of lemon then grilled is to die for, my sister did this for the first time a few years ago and its a firm faourite in our home now.

  5. Looks delicious! Love butter beans. Im still yet to experiment with polenta.


  6. Wow! What a beautiful bowl of supper, Mangocheeks!!! I'm so impressed with what you did, this dish sounds so simple to make and it looks so healthy and delicious, Mmm!!! Now you've inspired me to grow something that I can cook with and I then submit to GYO. Maybe I have to wait until summer time!!!

    p.s. I've never cooked polenta before, yours looks amazing. I need to introduce this food to my family very soon.

  7. What a fab & tasty dish!! My husband & I love gorgonzola!!

  8. Thank you Michal. I only plate them pretty for the blog.

    Thanks Kella. It was interesting to read how you and your family eat polenta. I've seen and used the ready-made polent in tesco, but actually prefer the quick cooking polenta, that way I can add other flavourings to it. I think i may have cooked polental once from ground cornmeal, then I discovered the quick cook stuff and haven't looked back. Yeah, Im a lazy girl sometimes, anything for an easy time in the kitchen (now and again).

    I love the way you've described eating it. I'll keep it in mind to try out some-day.

    I think polenta is an acquired taste. Its quite plain and its more about the texture I think. Polenta needs others flavours around it.

    Its all thanks to you Oraphan, that I was able to recreate this meal in my home. I would encourage anyone to grow, so please do, even if it is just some herbs!
    As i've said to Rose (above) it is an acquired taste, some people love it, others not. Have a go and see what you think of it.

    Thank you so much Sophie.
    I think the gorgonzola sauce is versatile, would go well with potatoes: mashed or boiled too.

  9. Hi, could you enter the information about this post via the link on our GYO announcement page:

  10. Terrific! I never heard of this Cavolo Nero, but its gorgeous. Have to check out this recipe!

  11. Thank you so much Rachel. Its such a hardy veg, a good one to grow during the winter season.

  12. totally sold on the polenta triangles, great combo!


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