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When my friend Yael showed up to our book club with a spiraling head of broccoli romanesco in hand, I was floored. “What is this…this…thing? It looks like it belongs on the wall of my senior year calculus classroom,” I internally babbled. It wasn’t long before I took the short walk to our local market, bought some of this bizarre broccoli, and roasted it up with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mmm, tasty. But what else could be done with this crazy cauliflower cousin? I set out to find out and discovered many a tasty recipe for this fractal of a food. Below is a mini photo montage of what I uncovered. Time to start seasoning this seasonal delight and seeing what wonders it has in store!
Clockwise from top left: Rice, Romanesco Broccoli, and Sesame Balls via Cotto e Crudo, Linguine with Romanesco and Scampi from La Tartine Gourmande, and Romanesco and Fresh Herb Toss from G Living
Have you ever heard of this odd edible? How do you prepare it?
I have seen them at the farmers market at lot and always wanted to buy one! I never knew what the heck to do with it though…now i do. done and done!
It is quite common in France. You can use it like you would with a brocoli, gratin roast it with cheese and cream (once steamed cooked), mash it with potato, you might even be able to eat in salad (raw like you would with cauliflowers). You can also find some purple romanescos sometimes (never tried them though).
it’s beautiful!! never seen one before. i want it on my kitchen table.
We’ve had it for ages at California farmers markets. My family always called it “fractal broccoli” because we are big nerds. We eat it the same way you’d eat any cauliflowery kind of thing, steamed with rarebit sauce.
i love romanesco!
melt a few tablespoons of butter and mix with dijon mustard, capers and lemon….drizzle over blanched romanesco pieces…salt and pepper to taste….so good!
Whoa, whoa! That sounds tasty. Next thing I try with my romanesco.
I don’t really like cauliflower – I’m not sure if I’d like this. It looks so interesting, though!
We just love this fascinating-looking plant! We grew this last year in our basement as part of an electro-horticulture experiment. I just started a blog on the topic – come and check us out at ElectricFertilizer.com
I was also pleasantly surprised when I found Romanesco florets being served to me on Moldova Airlines while on a business trip to Moldova (a tiny country between Romania and the Ukraine).
i like to put them into a curry or just steam them with some lemon juice and garlic infused olive oil. they’re great just grilled up or put into a casserole.
Our old neighbor lady who helps run a big farm with her brother (we live in the country!) grows these. We like to call them “Christmas trees” 🙂 We just steam them as we do with broccoli or cauliflower and add some salt and butter.
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