Allyson Gofton - Black Beauty

Publish Date
Friday, 12 June 2015, 11:26AM
By Allyson Gofton

Cavalo Nero  (black cabbage)
The leaves, as the name suggests, are almost black and unlike other cabbages they are long and curly leaves and quite thick. To cook with Cavalo Nero, braise it with a little bacon, garlic and a little water or stock. I like it shredded best and then cooked.  

If the central white stems are thick, then cut them out and discard. It is delicious with gutsy food like bean and pork casseroles, with plenty of garlic, bacon and rich tasting seafood like salmon. It can be blanched and stuffed and baked with a tomato sauce.

Prawn and Cabbage Risotto
This sounds like an unusual combination, but I thought it was so delicious when it was served to me at a fabulous little cafe, 82 Gladstone in Parnell, that I have made it often at home. I hope I have done justice to Lianne the chef, whose idea is was originally.

Serves: 4


75 grams butter
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed to a paste
2 cups aborio rice
3-4 cups fish stock
300-350 grams shelled green prawns
2 cups very finely shredded crisp cabbage
½ cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
several grindings of fresh black pepper
Chopped Italian parsley, to garnish


  1. Heat the butter in a large saucepan. Add the chopped onion and cook over a low-to-moderate heat for about 8-10 minutes until the onion is soft but in no way coloured. Add the garlic and rice to the butter and onion. Stir for about 3 minutes.

  2. Add a cup of fish stock and stir constantly until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. Gradually add the remaining stock, half a cup at a time, until the rice is tender. Don't rush the process or the rice will stick to the saucepan and the texture will not be creamy.

  3. While the rice is in its final cooking stages, de-vein the prawns and cut them in half or thirds, depending on their size. When the rice is cooked, stir in the prawns and cabbage. Cover and cook for a few minutes until the prawns turn pink, the cabbage is slightly wilted but still green and the rice is tender.

  4. Stir in the parmesan cheese and pepper. Serve in bowls, garnished with Italian parsley, parmesan shavings and a few nice prawn pieces or prawns in their shells.

Cooks Tips:

  • When making risotto, the more you stir the creamier and more 'porridge-like' the texture becomes.

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