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Cavalo Nero Pesto

Updated: Oct 24, 2021


A different way to use Cavalo Nero, this lovely little recipe was introduced to us when working at the wonderful Towpath in East London.


300g Cavalo Nero

( halve recipe if you want to use some greens for another dinner this week).

175g grated parmesan or for a vegan alternative a tablespoon of nutritional yeast

1-2 teaspoons of chilli flakes

4 cloves of garlic minced

½ lemon, juiced

200ml olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


Bring a suitable sized saucepan of water to the boil. While that’s happening, wash your Cavalo Nero and chop off the harder stalky ends. Then roughly chop the remaining leaves

Once boiling, first chuck in the stalky ends and cook for 3 to 4 minutes in order to soften. Once satisfied add the leaves and allow to cook for a further 3 to 4 minutes.

Drain everything through a colander and immediately rinse under cold water. This will stop the cooking process and keep the luscious green colour.


Remove from the colander and squeeze any excess water from your veg.

Roughly chop the Cavolo Nero and place in a food processor with the parmesan, chilli, garlic and lemon. Blend to form a paste and then slowly pour in the olive oil with the motor running. If you don’t have a food processor a hand blender or good old pestle and mortar will also provide nice results.


Add salt and pepper and more lemon to taste.


Stir your pesto through warm pasta, spread on fresh bread or put a dollop on roasted veg or risotto.