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Grandma Menna’s Kitchen: crostoni with cavolo nero

Have I ever told you my mum has a twin? Aunt Silvana, they are as like as two peas in a pod. In the family, we are totally aware of all the differences: they have different voices, different hair cut, different attitude, not to mention accent! Since she married, Aunt Silvana lives in Florence, so now she speaks with a nice Florentine accent, so different from my mother’s way of speaking! If people meet one of them just a few times, it’s always the same… questioning glance, whispering and question such: has she changed clothes? wasn’t she in the other room? don’t you recognize me? and so on!

They have another important difference: mum cooks because she has to cook, she’s good, now, but she doesn’t love it. Aunt Silvana, on the other hand, really loves cooking, pots and pans!

crostoni with cavolo nero

Stew carrots cooked by Aunt Silvana are totally different from any other stew carrots I have ever tasted, and with roast beef and onions, meat loaf or all kind of vegetables is the same! So, when time came to cook leaf cabbage, the first thing I did was to phone Aunt Silvana to ask her some information. The telephone rang twice, then her jolly and loving voice welcomed me: “My love! Tell me!”.

Then she began telling me about Camillo, an old man who gave her this recipe to taste just pressed extra virgin olive oil at its best.

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Crostoni with cavolo nero

Course Appetiser
Cuisine Tuscan
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 minute
Total time: 6 minutes
Serves 4
Author Giulia


  • 500 g cavolo nero, Tuscan kale
  • 4 slices Tuscan bread
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Chili pepper
  • Garlic


  • Choose a fresh bunch of black kale, rinse each leaf and discard the tough stalks.
  • Fill a large pot with salted water and boil the black kale for about one hour.
  • Slice the Tuscan bread, toast the slices on a grill over charcoal fire or in the oven and rub them with a clove of garlic if you like it.
  • Partially drain the leaf cabbage, do not remove all the cooking water.
  • Chop it roughly and spoon it over the grilled bread slices.
  • If you have leftover boiled white beans, add them to the leaf cabbage, then season with salt, chilli pepper and a good drizzle of our extra virgin olive oil, freshly pressed and still biting.
  • Enjoy the crunchy bread softened by the just boiled black kale, it's a perfect balance with the biting olive oil, a winter treat.
Tried this recipe?We love to see your creations! Snap a pic and tag @julskitchen and hashtag it #myseasonaltable!


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