Il cavolo nero idea vita!!!!! (Translation…The Tuscan cabbage idea lives!)

I told everyone yesterday that I had some ideas rolling around in the old noggin on how to use the Tuscan cabbage and well, it just happened. I found at least one way to incorporate the cabbage/kale into a recipe.  I really thought it was going to take me a lot longer to come up with something but sometimes, when the wind is right and the planets are aligned, it happens, so I went with it.  Cruising through the memory banks while building a small table for the basement fridge, I went through a bunch of recipes in my head where I incorporated cabbage. At first I thought of using the leaves for stuffing, like my shrimp stuffed Bok Choy recipe (I may still figure out something to stuff them with but I digress) and remembered a stir fry recipe where I used shredded brussel sprouts in addition to the vegetables to add kind of a smoky flavor.  Having tasted the Tuscan cabbage and knowing it had a similar but not as bitter flavor profile as brussel sprouts, I thought that it might go well with sweet Italian sausage.  Originally, I thought of just doing the vegetables and cabbage with the sausage and serving the mixture over rice or pasta but not wanting to dirty more than one pan, I decided to make this a “One Skillet Wonder” (the name of another recipe which will be posted at a future date).  The one skillet idea led to the addition of the potatoes. I hope you try this and let me know how it turns out.

The Well Fed Cyclist

Gary Bechard

Sweet Tuscan Stir fry

One skillet sweet sausage with Tuscan Kale

(makes 3-4 servings)

5 – Sweet Italian sausages (cut into slices)

1/3 – Sweet or Red onion, sliced (then quarter the slices)

1/2 – Red bell pepper, rough diced

1/2 – Green bell pepper, rough diced

1 – Small zucchini, rough diced

1 – Small yellow squash, rough diced

12 oz – Baby red, yellow or white potatoes quartered (I used a baby potato bag that had yellow, white, red and purple)

1 cup – Cremini Mushrooms, sliced

1 can – Black olives (pitted, 6 ounces dry weight)

5-7 leaves – Tuscan cabbage/kale, washed and rough shredded

1/4 cup – Fresh parsley, chopped fine

6-7 leaves – Basil, chopped

1 tsp – Oregano, dried or fresh (fresh use the leaves of 3 to 4 sprigs)

4-5 cloves – Garlic, fine diced

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – A few good turns around the pan will do

1/4 cup – Vegetable Stock

Coarse Ground black pepper to taste

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – About 1/4 cup more or less

Note: I always dice my vegetables before I start so that I can add them at the appropriate time while cooking.

Construction Instruction:

First, in a large skillet (one that has a cover), do a few good turns on the bottom of pan with olive oil and over low/med heat sauté onion and garlic until they begin to soften. Next, add sausage and stir (hence the name “stir fry”) until the sausage is done. (about 7 to 10 minutes since they are sliced) While still over low- medium heat, add peppers, zucchini, squash and olives and sauté until the vegetables begin to soften. To the pan, add the vegetable stock. Let the mixture warm and then add the potatoes. Fold mixture together until everything is evenly distributed and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Next, add the basil and oregano plus pepper to taste. Lower the heat and cover the skillet. (This will steam cook the potatoes). Stir the mixture occasionally until the potatoes are fork tender. When the potatoes are done, add the shredded Tuscan cabbage, re-cover the skillet and allow the cabbage to soften slightly. (about 5 to 7 minutes)

Since this meal is a “one skillet wonder” serve with nice, rustic, crusty bread.



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