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Alessi cuisine



Cabbage with slices of bread and new oil

(Cavolo con le fette e l'olio novo)

  • 8 slices of home-made stale bread
  • 1 kg of a small black cabbage, with ribs and stalk still tender
  • 4 or 5 garlic cloves
  • olive oil (just produced by the olive-press)
  • black peppercorns
  • table salt
Take a pot with lid and fill it with abundant salted water; while the water is boiling put the black cabbage and let it cook for about 7-8 minutes, over a low heat, with the lid covering the pot. When the cabbage is cooked, roast quite well the slices of bread, rub them with abundant garlic and dip them into the hot cabbage cooking water, but just for few seconds, and position them on a plate. Cover them with the black cabbage, dripped of its cooking water, then salt a little bit (but just a little bit, because the cabbage has been boiled in salted water) and finally bathe abundantly with oil and grind also abundant black peppercorns.
The new oil is fundamental for this recipe, and generally for all the recipes of this period of the year. Most of these recipes have been created concerning with the olives pressing, or in other words, they have been created during the long waitings at the crusher (waiting for its own turn to press the olives) in front of the fire places.
This recipe can be prepared also with a bigger black cabbage and, in this case, it will result really tasty. But you have to remove the harder ribs of the cabbage before cooking it, and, normally, it requires more time to be cooked.
Furthermore the distribution of this cabbage on the slices of bread results more difficult, but its taste is more appropriate, also considering the gushing fragrance of the new oil.
Such a recipe, and others similar, enjoys the public favour especially the one of young people; this situation denies a cliché which tells that today's people are not able to appreciate the "wild" tastes of natural products, as well as their culture. This cliché is fed by a certain advertising which wants to favour amorphous products in their tastes (some olive oils are supposed to be exciting, but the only exciting thing they own is represented by the label and the economic power to pay the ads).

A Giuseppe Alessi recipe
Translated by Gianna Toni
Picture by Kee-Ho Casati

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