Fiore di Cavalo Nero

Apr 20th, 2012 | By | Category: Blog

Our neighbor Jess built some very cool steel raised beds on her parking strip last year, and I’ve been nibbling on the overwintered cavalo nero (aka Tuscan or lacinato kale) for months. When we got home from our trip to the south this week and I saw that the flowers had blossomed, my first thought was disappointment; no more of the tender, immature flowers that everybody (erroneously) calls “raab.”

But I walked across the street, plucked off one of the yellow flowers, and ate it. I turned around, went back home, grabbed some scissors, and clipped off a bowlful. You probably won’t find these at the market, but if you grew any kale (or know a gardner who did) and it’s flowering, don’t wait.

Snip the flowers, any unopened buds, and stems up to about matchstick diameter into short pieces, toss with extra virgin olive oil, any of the Katz vinegars (the Viognier Honey is especially good), and a pinch of flor de sal and eat raw. Or cook for a couple of minutes in extra virgin with shallot or garlic, then pour in a few well-beaten eggs and scramble. The flavor is clearly kale, but there’s a sweet note, too. The flowers are tasty but fleeting morsels, the epitome of seasonal food.

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