Dinosaur Kale, also known as Black Kale and more!

The kale craze has spread and now we’ve gone from “Do you carry any kale?” to “Oh my goodness–look at how many kinds of kale they have!”

Black Kale, Dinosaur Kale, Lacinto Kale, Cavolo Nero

Black Kale, Dinosaur Kale, Lacinto Kale, Cavolo Nero


Have you tried Black Kale yet?  It’s a kale of many interesting names:  Lacinato kale, Tuscan kale, Tuscan cabbage, Italian kale, Dinosaur kale (my favorite), cavolo nero, flat back cabbage, palm tree kale, or black Tuscan palm.  It has large, dark greenish-blue leaves, which are long and frond-like.  The texture is slightly crinkly & bumpy, which explains the name “dinosaur” kale.  I found the taste to be much less bitter than other kale varieties and almost tangy-sweet.  It’s definitely different than the curly leaf type.There is much nutritional value in Black Kale: vitamin C, folic acid, calcium, and potassium. Originally grown in Tuscany, it is said Black kale stimulates the immune system and can help in preventing certain types of cancer. The leaves are softer and seems to cook faster.  My husband proudly brought a bunch home and I couldn’t wait to try out an easy recipe with it.


Along with the Black Kale, my husband, my vegetable scout,  presented me with a mystery veggie without a label or tag, photo below. If anyone can tell me what this is, I would really appreciate it!  I treated it like a cauliflower or broccoli—I would like to say that it’s hybrid broccoflower but it doesn’t even look like that. Any ideas?

Please tell me what this is!!

Please tell me what this is!!


Braised Black Kale with Lemon


1 large bunch Black Kale, rinsed with center rib cut out

1/2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

3 tsp minced garlic

1/8 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup of vegetable broth

1 tsp sea salt

2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice


1) Layer the leaves on top of each other and cut the leaves into 1 inch pieces

2) In a large pot of water, bring to a boil and add kale

3)  Cover and cook just until slightly wilted, 5 minutes

4)  Remove from heat and drain well

5)  In a large fry pan over low heat, heat the olive oil and garlic for 1 minutes being careful not to burn the garlic

6)  Add the kale and wine; cover and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed

7)  Add the vegetable broth and cook until broth is absorbed and kale if very tender, approximately 30 minutes (but it could be longer)

8)  Season to taste with salt and lemon juice, toss and serve


*Note: I added the mystery vegetable to the mix—cauliflower would be a nice addition!


Black Kale and Mystery Vegetable with Lemon

Black Kale and Mystery Vegetable with Lemon


Quinoa, Black Bean and Black Kale Bowl 

Adapted from


2 tbs olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 mushrooms, sliced

2 tbs nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp salt

Pepper to taste

1 cup quinoa, rinsed

2 cups water

1 cup black beans (canned, rinsed)

1/2 cup zucchini

1 medium tomato, chopped

1 cup Black Kale, torn into medium pieces


1) In large frying pan, preheat olive oil over medium heat

2)  Add garlic, cook and stir for a minute

3)  Add mushrooms, cook for 2 more minutes

4)  Reduce heat if you don’t want to brown the garlic and mushrooms too much

5)  Site in nutritional yeast, salt and pepper

6)  Add quinoa, stir to toast slightly

7) Add the water and the beans

8)  Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil

9)  Add the tomatoes, zucchini and kale, then cover and reduce heat to low

10)  Simmer on low for about 15 minutes until the quinoa is cooked.

11)  Serve and enjoy!


Braised Cavolo Nero Kale

Adapted from Vegetarian Times


3 Tbs. olive oil

1 medium onion, thinly sliced (1 ⅓ cups)

3 small carrots, diced (1 ½ cups)

2 bunches cavolo nero kale, tough ribs removed, and leaves coarsely chopped (9 cups)

½ tsp. red pepper flakes

3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced


1)  Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sauté onion 7 to 9 minutes, or until golden.

2) Add carrots, and cook 2 to 3 minutes more.

3) Add kale and 1/2 cup water, cover, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until kale has wilted.

4) Stir in red pepper flakes and garlic, and cook 1 to 2 minutes more.

5) Add 1 1/4 cups water, and bring to a simmer.

6) Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 40 minutes, or until kale is tender, adding more water if necessary.

7) Uncover pot, increase heat to medium-high, and cook 3 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

8)  Serve over pasta


Enjoy the taste and the health benefits!

xox Ellen

Leaning Into Veganism


  1. Your vegetable scout brought home a mystery vegetable that is a total mystery to me!!!! I have no idea what it is. And I never heard of the unusual names for lacinto kale other than dinosaur kale (my favorite too!). I love my dinosaur kale with tahini dressing!!!

    Great post!

  2. Jeri Gertzman says:

    Your mystery vegetable is Romanesco cauliflower!
    Can’t wait to try the kale recipes – thank you!

    • Thanks for solving the mystery! Looks like Black Kale (also called Tuscan kale) and Romanesco cauliflower both come from Italy originally. No wonder they blended well together in my dish!

  3. AlexCartana says:

    Hahaha Beau was looking at a recipe with “Romanesco” and I kept saying isn’t the dish “Romesco” and he said, no it’s an ingredient not a dish…. so we then looked up “Romanesco” and saw images just like the one you have here… interesting vegetable isn’t it?

  4. pagoda cauliflower = romanesco broccoli
    google images search is our friend…


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