Winter greens with crispy onions, tahini and sumac


This is a delicious way to eat your greens – and definitely worth seeking out some sumac which adds such a great tang. Recipe is from Diana Henry’s book A change of appetite – where healthy meets delicious. It works fine if you only have savoy cabbage and not cavolo/kale as well – just bump up the cabbage quantity. And if you love crispy fried onions, it’s worth doubling them. To switch up from side dish to main (alongside some mash or rice), try adding some cooked lentils at the end of step 4.


  • Tahini sauce:
  • 4 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp plain yogurt
  • 2 small garlic cloves, grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • For the greens:
  • Half a savoy cabbage (whole if small)
  • 300g Cavolo nero or kale
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, very finely sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes or more to taste
  • Small knob of butter
  • Good squeeze of lemon juice


  1. Make the tahini sauce: beat the tahini with a fork, gradually add 3½ tbsp of water, the EV olive oil, lemon juice, yogurt and garlic. Don’t worry if it looks like it’s going to split; it will come together. Taste and season.
  2. (Different brands of tahini have different consistency so add more water or oil if needed – you want the thickness of Jersey cream)
  3. Remove the hard core from the cabbage, tear the leaves off and cut into thin strips. Remove Cavolo nero leaves from central ribs and cut leaves into strips. Keep separate from cabbage. Plunge the Cavolo into boiling water for 5 mins, then drain well.
  4. Heat 1½ tbsp of regular olive oil and fry the onion on high heat until golden and crispy. Set aside.
  5. Heat the rest of the regular olive oil in a saucepan (that has a lid) and sauté the cabbage for 1 minute with the garlic and chilli. Add 1 tbsp water, salt + pepper and butter. Put lid on and cook on medium heat for 2 mins, shaking the pan every so often.
  6. Remove lid, add the drained Cavolo, season to taste and fry another couple of minutes. The garlic should be golden.
  7. Squeeze on the lemon juice. Put on a serving plate and drizzle with the tahini sauce. Top with the crispy onions and sprinkle on the sumac.