Fiona's incredibly versatile kale and black garlic paste can be used to add flavour to soup, enliven a sandwich or - as Fi’s recipe suggests below - to stir through risotto for an easy, but seriously flavoursome mid-week meal. 

Kale & Black Garlic Paste

makes about 2 cups

1 bunch cavolo nero (Tuscan kale), stems trimmed about 2 cm from base

1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 teaspoon sea salt

8 cloves black garlic (fermented garlic)

250ml virgin olive oil

80g finely grated Parmesan

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.  Plunge kale into boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to stop cooking process. Drain again and squeeze out excess water. Roughly chop kale.

In the bowl of the food processor add the kale, parsley, salt and black garlic.  Blend until finely chopped.  Add oil and Parmesan, continue blending until a paste forms. 

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Or freeze for up to three months. 

Kale & Black Garlic Risotto

serves 4

50g unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 cup (200g) aborio rice

100ml white wine

1.2 litre vegetable or chicken stock

½ cup of kale & black garlic paste (see recipe above) 

extra Parmesan, to serve

Heat stock in a saucepan to the boil.  Turn off heat.

Heat oil and half the butter and in a medium heavy based saucepan over a medium heat.  Add the onion and cook for 10-15 minutes until softened and transparent.  Stir in the rice to coat grains and cook for a minute until translucent.  Add wine and cook for a minute until absorbed. Add hot stock a ladle at a time, stirring continuously until stock is absorbed before adding another ladle. Continue until all the stock is absorbed and the rice reaches al dente.  Stir through the kale paste to combine well.  Turn off the heat and stir in the remaining butter.  

Serve immediately with extra Parmesan, if desired.

Fiona Hammond © June 2018

Recipe, photos and styling by Fiona Hammond. www.fionahammondfood.com

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Mark Brancatisano