There are so many amazing health benefits attributed to kale. It is exceptionally high in vitamin K, an anti-inflammatory; it is recognized as an antioxidant, a property that may prevent or delay some types of cell damage and, is considered to help prevent certain cancers and also contains significant levels of vitamins A, C and B complex, calcium, iron and cholesterol lowering fiber. It can be of no surprise that kale is called superfood but, in order to be effective, significant quantities must be regularly consumed.

With large floppy leaves kale is a member of the cabbage family and creeps into cooking under many different guises: Italians add cavolo nero to pork stews and polenta dishes whilst their staples, Parmesan and olive oil are excellent combinations too. In a similar way, Irish Colcannon combines mashed potato and kale, potato complimenting the bitter-sweetness of kale.

Walnuts add warmth so a mound of shredded kale is the ideal recipient for a slug of fresh Perigord walnut oil and a handful of ‘le noix’, crushed then toasted thus tempering the bitterness of the beneficiary.

Bring a pan of water to a rolling boil before adding washed, shredded kale. Cover with a lid and set the timer for 2 minutes. Drain the wilted kale in a colander followed by lots of cold water to stop further cooking. Drain. Gently heat a tablespoon or so of walnut oil in a heavy based frying pan. Add a handful of roughly crushed walnuts, allowing them to toast and colour, stirring from time to time to prevent burning, enhancing their earthy, ‘nutty’ flavour. Make sure the kale is perfectly dry (a salad spinner is ideal for this) before adding to the pan; sauté for 2 or 3 minutes and serve.

Kale with Walnuts is a perfect accompaniment to roast pork, chicken or fish with any leftovers being tossed through cooked pasta, sprinkling grated, fresh Parmesan and lemon zest or served with spaghetti and orange-basil infused prawns with Parmesan crumbs.

To serve 4, marinade about 400g uncooked prawns in a couple of tablespoons of orange oil, finely chopped zest and juice of 1 orange and a handful of torn basil leaves. If you wish, a little chilli or crushed garlic may also be added and leave for about an hour, allowing flavours to infuse.

Prepare the Parmesan crumbs. Combine a handful of panko (or fresh) breadcrumbs with a couple of tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan then toast in a non-stick frying pan. Keep stirring and be watchful to ensure the breadcrumbs don’t burn; remove from the pan and set aside.

Cook the spaghetti according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add a little orange oil to the frying pan, turn up the heat, adding the drained prawn; reserve the marinade. Cook the prawns over a high heat for 2 or 3 minutes until they are opaque, slightly browned and fully cooked; add the leftover Kale and Walnuts with the reserved marinade and continue to cook for a further minute or so or until piping hot.

Drain the spaghetti by using the lid and so a little cooking water remains. Toss through the prawn mixture. Divide between warmed bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan crumbs and roughly torn basil leaves.

Note: Orange oil is easily replaced by lemon, basil or a soft, fruity olive oil; leftover Parmesan crumbs may be stored in a recycled, lidded jam jar.