Renovation recipes: Ginger Pork Chop With Cavolo Nero, Goats Cheese & Toasted Seeds

Cavolo Nero with ginger pork chop

Cavolo nero sounds pretty posh doesn’t it, but is simply the Italian name for black kale/cabbage. Traditionally grown in Tuscany, it’s now grown in Lincolnshire  too, helping to keep down the food miles. This is healthy stuff, great in stews and hearty meals but also a good source of lutein, fibre and calcium, plus vitamins K, A, C and the B vitamins, as well as many important trace elements. Helping keep you healthy whilst mid renovation – can’t be bad!

I was a little unsure about raw kale, it all sounded a bit too Clean Eating for me, but both Mr M & I loved it’s unusual texture and taste. The recipe definitely needs a chunk of hearty meat, fish would be a bit lost I reckon, but the pork works brilliantly, as would a spatchcock chilli chicken or garlic steak.


  • 2 pork steaks, approx 3cm or 1 inch thick
  • 1 inch stem of fresh ginger, peeled & finely chopped (approx 25g)
  • 1/2 garlic clove, crushed
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Dressing
    •  3 dessert spoons of extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 dessert spoons of cider vinegar (or balsamic or whichever you like!)
    • 1 dessert spoon of honey
    • Juice of half a lemon
    • 2 chopped fat dates (Medjool to be fancy) or other chopped dried berries such as cranberries for sweetness
    • Freshly ground seasoning.

Step 1 : Mix the ginger, garlic & half the lime juice and marinate the steaks overnight, if you can. Not essential though. I like to prep my meals the night before then I feel dead organised after a day on site.

  • 200g of Cavolo Nero (1 supermarket bag)
  • 3 dessert spoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 100g mixed pumpkin seeds and cashew nuts
  • 150g of soft goats cheese, crumbled

Step 3 : Shake the dressing ingredients together in small sealed container.

Remove the tough stem of each cabbage leaf with scissors and then finely cut each leaf into a bowl. Drizzle over the oil. Now, here’s the thing. Whilst we’re the ones who’ve been working hard, it’s the cabbage that gets the massage! Seems a bit unfair to me 😉 Rubbing the oil into the leaves tenderises them as they aren’t being cooked for this recipe.

Heat the grill to high. Toss the pumpkin seeds / cashew nuts in a little olive oil and the crushed garlic clove. Lightly toast them til golden brown. Add half to the massaged cabbage leaves & toss.

Grill the pork chops until cooked, ten mins each side. Pork chops are always nicer slightly underdone then left to rest and finish cooking without being under a high heat. Also try grilling the chops in a small metal tray to retain the marinade underneath as you turn them, rather than on a grill grid. Cut into the steak and test if you’re not sure. Pork should never be pink; it’s better to under cook and pop back under the grill.

Whilst the steaks are resting, toss the rest of the seeds, nuts and cheese in with the cavolo nero, plate up and drizzle over the thick sweet dressing. Serve with the pork chops – delicious!Cavolo Nero with nuts and goats cheese Cavolo Nero with Ginger Pork Chop

NB For new readers: I live in a kitchenless, hot water-less, hobless house mid-selfbuild & renovations, hence these simple / effective / hearty recipes and food advice for others in the same boat. This isn’t an expert blog for expert foodies with all the gadgets either, so don’t get all snotty if I use cheating additions and never boil / pan fry anything… because I can’t! x

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