Dino kale - also known as Tuscan kale, lacinato kale, black kale, or cavolo nero - is an incredibly hearty cooking green with 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, meaning they're great for braising or adding to stews.
How to Select
Look at the leaves carefully; you want very dark blue-green or black-green leaves with no brown or wilted bits. Check the stem ends—they should look freshly cut, not dried out or browned, or, even worse, slimy. Depending on how you're going to use the kale, you may choose to look for bunches that have wider or more narrow leaves. I tend to prefer kale with thinner stems for more even cooking.
How to Store
Store dino kale loosely wrapped in plastic in the fridge. (Unlike more tender greens, dino kale doesn't store better if washed first, so you can put off that task until you're ready to use it.)
How to Prepare
When ready to use, be sure to rinse the leaves well. The leaves are so sturdy that you don't need to be nearly as careful to avoid bruising and crushing as with other greens. There's no need to beat them up, but also no need to place them tenderly on top of the bag for the trip home. One of the advantages of this hearty green is its ability to take a bit of handling without damaging results.