{Recipe} Cavolo Nero & Spiced Lentil Stew


Cavolo Nero or “black cabbage” is rife in Tuscany; pastas, soups, stews its celebrated in all, in Florence I even lived across from a restaurant proudly named Cavolo Nero! In America they call this kind of veg “Dinosaur Kale” which sounds much more epic, and may help convert non- cabbage believers.

Like all leafy greens it’s incredibly nutritious and full of vitamins and photonutrients, here I combined the robust greenery into a spiced lentil stew. Nourishing and warming there’s hidden scents and flavours from the cardamon and star anise, while a squeeze of lemon and a dollop of yoghurt at the end really lifts it. 

Free from gluten, dairy and Vegetarian. 

Total Time 40minutes

Serves 4


  •         1 onion, diced
  •         1 stick of celery, finely chopped
  •         2 cloves of garlic, minced
  •         1 red chili, finely chopped
  •         1 teaspoon tumeric
  •         1 star anise
  •         1 teaspoon cardamon pods
  •         2 cups (350g) puy lentils
  •         4 ½ cups (1 litre) vegetable stock
  •         1 bunch cavolo nero, sliced
  •         juice of a lemon
  •         1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
  •         To Serve:goat, sheep or coconut yoghurt and chopped coriander


  • Start by heating a little coconut or olive oil in a saucepan and sautée the onion, celery, garlic, chili and tumeric until soft for around 8 minutes. Make sure it doesn't burn keeping it at low heat or adding a splash of water if it does start to get too hot.
  • Add the lentils and stock, bring to the boil and then lower the temperature to simmer.
  • After your lentils have been simmering for 20 minutes stir through the sliced cavolo nero and place the saucepan lid on for another 10 minutes.
  • Before taking off the heat squeeze in the juice of a lemon and the fish sauce if using.
  • Dollop a spoonful of yoghurt and a sprinkling of coriander before serving.

Note - If you can't find a sugar free, organic fish sauce you can always try anchovy sauce which doesn't have the sugar content.