Dino kale - also known as Tuscan kale, lacinato kale, black kale, or cavolo nero - is an incredibly hearty cooking green with dark, dark almost blue-green or even black-green leaves and lots of earthy, nutty flavor. The leaves are so hearty that even when well cooked they retain a wonderful firm texture.
How to Buy Dino Kale
Look for the biggest bunches with the widest leaves you can find. Look at the leaves carefully, you want very dark blue-green or black-green leaves with no brown or wilted bits.
How to Store Dino Kale
Store dino kale loosely wrapped in plastic in the fridge. When ready to use, be sure to rinse the leaves well. Unlike more tender greens, dino kale doesn't store better if washed first. The leaves are so sturdy that you don't need to be nearly as careful to avoid bruising and crushing as with other greens. No need to beat them up, but also no need to tenderly place them on top of the bag for the trip home.
How to Cook Dino Kale
Dino kale is particularly well suited to braising in a bit of broth. Or, simply blanch it in boiling water, then sauté it in olive oil with garlic and a chile or two, if you like. A sprinkle of salt and a squirt of lemon are nice, too.
Here are a few of my favorite dino kale recipes: