Although considered traditional from Friuli Venezia Giulia, the recipe for kale and potatoes in a pan is actually spread throughout the alpine arc. Obviously, since in those parts during the long winters of the past there was no possibility of eating fresh vegetables. The only exceptions (besides potatoes) were cabbages, especially kale and collards, which prefer colder climates.
As the name suggests, the skillet kale and potatoes recipe is traditionally made with kale. In reality, the cabbage, the one with smooth leaves, which we also used for the plate in the photo. In both cases the recipe is identical. And very similar is also the Taste: slightly sulfurous and with spicy notes. which – in our case – are accentuated with pepper and cumin.
In general, the flavor of cabbage, and that of cabbage and cabbage in particular, Combines perfectly with spicy flavor ingredients, such as mustard, mustard, truffle, garlic.. That is why dishes like our cabbage with potatoes are recommended to be accompanied with a hot bruschetta made of garlic-scented bread.
The recipe we propose is the traditional Friulian one, with the only option of cumin, which is actually optional. If you don’t have it, you can substitute it with fennel seeds. But only because it is excellent for us, not because it is the same as cumin. The flavors are different.
Traditional recipes require cooking cabbage for a long time: practically an hour. That is, until it almost falls apart and has a unique consistency with the potatoes that are also well cooked. Flavors of other times.
It’s actually good to remember that Cabbage is also excellent raw in salads.! So it doesn’t really require long cooking times. Not boiled, but cut into pieces and simmered directly in the pan, with the sofrito and half a glass of water, it cooks very well in 25-30 minutes. Or even less if you want to better appreciate the crunchy texture of the leaves.
We follow the traditional method (blanching and then stewing) simply because it is faster and easier. In fact, since the potatoes must be boiled separately in any case, the cabbage can be boiled together with the potatoes. The advice, however, is to boil the cabbage as little as possible. No more than the 6-7 minutes indicated in the recipe (from when the water returns to a boil). Which is also enough time to boil the peeled and chopped potatoes very al dente. Cooking is then completed in the pan to achieve a harmonious consistency and flavor.
- 800g kale or collard greens
- 400 grams of potatoes
- 1 onion
- 40 g bacon or bacon
- caraway seeds
- black pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Peel and cut the potatoes into pieces of more or less the same size, not too large // Wash and clean the kale, discarding the outer leaves and the toughest ribs (which should not be thrown away, but saved for later use in minestrone or soups). Cut everything into thin strips.
- In a large saucepan, bring lightly salted water to a boil, then add the cabbage and potatoes. Drain them after 7 minutes (when they start to boil again) and keep them slightly moist, without letting them dry out completely.
- Cut the bacon into small pieces and let it sweat very gently for 4 minutes in a large frying pan with 2 tablespoons of oil. It should be translucent, but not toasted.
- Throw the cabbage and potatoes into the pan, season with salt and cook – with the lid on, over moderate heat and stirring several times – for the approximately 8-12 minutes needed to cook the potatoes. The exact time depends on its quality and the size of the pieces you have cut.
- Uncover the pan and season with a generous amount of ground pepper and a pinch of crushed cumin seeds (if you haven’t used fennel seeds). Stir and leave on the heat for a few more minutes, also to dry out the excess moisture from the cooking juices. Serve your side dish of cabbage and potatoes in a hot pan, accompanying it with hot croutons seasoned with a splash of oil and a touch of garlic.