- How to Cook Broccoflower
- What Is Broccoflower?
- What Does Broccoflower Look Like?
- What Does Broccoflower Taste Like?
- How Do You Cook Broccoflower?
- How Do You Know Which Broccoflower to Buy (and Where is Broccoflower in the Market)?
- How Do You Store Broccoflower?
- When Is Broccoflower in Season?
- Is Broccoflower Nutritious?
- What Is the Difference Between Broccoli and Romanesco?
- Romanesco Broccoli: A Fibonacci Fractal
- Romanesco Cauliflower Pasta with Olives, Capers, and Parsley
- Romanesco Cauliflower Pasta
- Romanesco: Roman Cauliflower
- How to Cut Romanesco
- What is The Difference Between Romanesco, Cauliflower, and Broccoli?
- What Is Romanesco and How the Heck Do You Cook It?
- What Is Romanesco?
- How to Cook Romanesco
- Garlic-Roasted Lemon Romanesco Recipe
- What is Romanesco?
- Health Benefits
How to Cook Broccoflower
Maybe you’ve been lured in by some of the fabulous seasonal produce at a farmers market. Maybe you’ve joined a CSA. Maybe you’ve heard good things about broccoflower, or tried them at a restaurant and you’d like to introduce them into the home meal rotation.
And maybe you don’t know exactly how to cook (or shop for or store or prepare) some of the vegetables and fruit you bought home. Like broccoflower.
So highly fixable! Let’s go!
And then you might also be curious about:
- How to Cook Butternut Squash
- How to Cook Pears
- How to Cook Pumpkins
- How to Cook Zucchini and Summer Squash
- How to Cook Kohlrabi
What Is Broccoflower?
Broccoli and cauliflower are cousins in the cruciferous family, Brassica oleracea, which includes, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale. It is the result of a cross-pollination between broccoli and cauliflower, a hybrid vegetable. It is not a GMO vegetable, in that no technology was applied to create this hybrid, but it was an intentional cross-pollination. The result is these two attractive and delicious broccoflower varieties.
What Does Broccoflower Look Like?
There are two green-tinted cauliflower-ish vegetables you might see labeled broccoflower. One looks essentially like a head of regular white cauliflower that has been dyed a vivid green. The other looks like a pointy green cauliflower, usually a brighter hue, with a spiky pyramid-like appearance (see above), and florets that are also jagged in shape. This is also known as Romenesco Broccoli, or Roman Cauliflower.
What Does Broccoflower Taste Like?
Either variety can be cooked or eaten raw, and have a slightly sweeter and less bitter taste than either regular cauliflower or broccoli. The texture is nice and firm.
How Do You Cook Broccoflower?
You don’t necessarily have to find a broccoflower recipe. They can be cooked in the same way as broccoli and cauliflower – steamed, boiled, roasted, sautéed — and so can be substituted in any pretty much any recipes that calls for one or the other. And they make a nice conversation ingredient (green cauliflower? spikes?!), and may intrigue the kids as well.
How Do You Know Which Broccoflower to Buy (and Where is Broccoflower in the Market)?
Look for broccoflower in the produce aisle, usually near the cauliflower and broccoli. Look for tight, firm heads with no brown spots. The heads should feel heavy for their size. If there are leaves attached, make sure they look fresh and crisp.
How Do You Store Broccoflower?
Broccoflower can be stored in a plastic bag for up to 6 days in the refrigerator. Do not rinse with water until you are ready to prepare it.
When Is Broccoflower in Season?
Broccoflower is in season in fall through mid to late winter, and in some warmer climates the season extends to early spring.
Is Broccoflower Nutritious?
Broccoflower is high in vitamin C and vitamin A, and a good source of folic acids and other minerals. It is also high in fiber and low in calories; 35 calories in a cup. Cruciferous vegetables are believed to contain compounds that help the body resist certain types of cancer.
Try Broccoflower in these Recipes, Instead of the Broccoli or Cauliflower!:
- Roasted Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts and Leeks with Spicy Drizzle
- Farro with Grilled Broccoli and Sweet Onions
- Roasted Cauliflower and Carrots with Olive Drizzle
- Braised Cauliflower with Anchovies and Capers
- Sauteed and Braised Cauliflower with Mustard Seeds and Green Peppercorns
One of the more unusual vegetables we’ve come across, Romanesco appears to be part psychedelic broccoli, part alien life form.
In fact, it’s an edible flower from the family that includes broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. It tastes very similar to cauliflower, but with a slightly nuttier, earthier flavor. You can use it as you would cauliflower in recipes, and it holds up to many different cooking methods.
“Romanesco can be served raw, lightly cooked, or cooked through,” said Mario Batali in a column for the Seattle Times last fall. “I usually sauté it slowly with garlic and lemon zest, and punctuate with red pepper flakes for zing.”
It’s also delicious steamed and lightly seasoned with olive oil and red wine vinegar.
Other recipes call for simply baking the cousin to cauliflower with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
RELATED: 25 Healthy-Plant Based Dinners
Of course, the most fascinating part of Romanesco is its appearance. Its spiraled buds form a natural approximation of a fractal, meaning each bud in the spiral is composed of a series of smaller buds. (Remember the Fibonacci sequence from school? The spirals follow the same logarithmic pattern).
The Romanesco (sometimes called Romanesco Broccoli or Roman Cauliflower) did not always exist in nature. Many botanists believe it was the result of selective breeding by Italian farmers in the 16th century.
Romanesco is in season during from late summer to early fall, and it can often be found at local farmers’ markets, especially along the Eastern Seaboard. Just as when shopping for regular broccoli or cauliflower, look for firm, heavy heads free from discoloration or withered florets. To store in the fridge, keep in a tightly sealed bag.
Have you tried Romanesco? What did you think?
Next up: You have to try the Pioneer Woman’s Curried Cauliflower
What Is the Difference Between Broccoli and Romanesco?
Come February, it’s easy to grow tired of winter vegetables. There are mounds of carrots, potatoes, and turnips, after all, and it becomes commonplace to start dreaming of summer’s fresh bounty of zucchini, asparagus, and crisp peas. But despite the cold, these winter months happen to bring a bounty of romanesco—a cauliflower-like flower that’s bright green and more resemblant of an underwater creature than a vegetable. Romanesco is often compared in ideology to broccoli, mostly because both are distinctly green flower-like vegetables and both belong to the Brassica oleracea family.
Yet romanesco shouldn’t be cropped into just being another boring broccoli. What really sets romanesco apart from broccoli is its unique texture. Spiky with convex florets where each bud bursts into numerous other buds, it certainly stands out in the grocery store or farmers market. If its striking appearance doesn’t pique your interest, its delicately nutty flavor certainly will, making it perfect for anything from simply roasting it in a pan with olive oil to eating it raw, dipped in aioli or even ranch dressing.
Broccoli, unlike romanesco, is a member of the cabbage family, which gives it a more sharp and vibrant flavor. A tall stalk blossoms into a leafy, tree-like floret, making broccoli a much less dense and somewhat smoother vegetable than romanesco. Broccoli is best steamed, with an added pat of butter or sprinkling of cheese for flavor.
What to do with each in the kitchen? Look to these recipes for inspiration.
Garlic Parmesan Broccoli
Dress up oven-baked broccoli with some minced garlic and Parmesan cheese. The key here is to raise the heat in the oven to super high (at least 425 degrees Fahrenheit) to make sure that broccoli gets crisp. Get the recipe.
Broccoli Cheese Soup
Gimme Some Oven
This soup is a classic and undeniably easy to make at home. All you need to do is cook down some vegetables, then add milk, broccoli, mustard, and cheese, which thickens the soup. Get the recipe.
Broccoli Apple Salad
Some people find broccoli too tough to eat raw, but others love adding them straight into a salad. This recipe is a testament to that. Raw broccoli gets mixed with sliced apples, walnut hunks, carrots, raisins, and red onions. Get the recipe.
Crispy Broccoli Parmesan Fritters
Try out this healthier take on fritters; instead of frying them in oil, bake them in the oven. Just pulse chop broccoli with eggs, onion, garlic, flour, and Parmesan, then form into puck-sized mounds and bake. Get the recipe.
Pan-Roasted Romanesco with Golden Raisins, Tahini, and Sumac
House and Home
Bring out romanesco’s inherent nuttiness by cooking it over a high flame until crisp and browned, then top with a lemony, tahini sauce. Get the recipe.
Romanesco Green Curry
This hearty, spice-infused green curry will make you forget there’s no meat in it. It’s solely roasted florets of romanesco mixed with a host of herbs and spices, coconut milk, and sugar. Get the recipe.
Roasted Romanesco Cauliflower Pesto Spaghetti
Pasta deserves a green upgrade, too. Roasted romanesco is added to a traditional pesto, giving it a smoky and even nuttier flavor. Toss with warm pasta and finish it off with more cheese. Get the recipe.
Romanesco Soup with Za’atar Granola
Le Petit Eats
This soup is simple to make (it’s just romanesco, onion, and potato, cooked down and then blended), but it’s the za’atar-spiced granola that adds an intensely addicted crunch. Get the recipe.
Header image by Chowhound, using photos from .
Romanesco Broccoli: A Fibonacci Fractal
Few things in the garden are more mesmerizing than the Italian heirloom brassica of Romanesco broccoli.
This chartreuse bud is an edible flower that is also known as a Romanesco cauliflower, but it’s technically neither — truly in a class of its own. It’s a fine work of art and a mathematical marvel. Did you know that a Romanesco is a beautiful example of a Fibonacci fractal in the natural world?
Last year I picked my Romanesco a few days too late, and its famous spiral had already started to unravel, resembling an average cauliflower. But this year, I remembered to harvest it earlier (and thankfully, it weighed much less than the 25-pound Broczilla from last year’s crop!).
The part of the broccoli that we typically eat — what we call the head — is actually the flower bud of the plant (although broccoli leaves are just as edible and delicious, and can be cooked like any other green). The tight clusters that form the head are called florets (or small flowers).
On a Romanesco, the whole head is made up of smaller heads that mimic the shape of the larger head, and each of those smaller heads is made up of even smaller, similar heads. It keeps going, and going, and…
You’re looking at a natural fractal — quite simply, a detailed pattern that repeats itself ad infinitum. (But since a head of broccoli can’t go on forever, math purists would call this an approximate fractal, since it has a termination point.) If you break off a floret, it looks like a mini broccoli with its own mini florets. Fractals are fascinating in that way; no matter which part of the fractal you zoom in on, it will be an identical version of the bigger picture.
If you ever have the chance to study a tight head of Romanesco up close, you’ll see a spiral emanating from the center point, along which all the smaller florets are arranged. This is the Fibonacci spiral, a series of arcs whose radii follow the Fibonacci sequence. You remember the Fibonacci sequence from school? Where each number equals the sum of the previous two numbers? 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, and so on.
If you count the number of spirals in one direction, and then count the number of spirals in the other direction, they will be — without fail — consecutive Fibonacci numbers. Every time. Intrigued? Confused yet? I know I was. I’ll let this math geek explain it better with a visual.
If you don’t have a head of Romanesco to test out this mathematical wonder, try it with other self-similar forms; cauliflower, sunflowers, pinecones, and pineapples are all examples of Fibonacci spirals.
Isn’t it amazing how something so precise as a math formula can occur in something so organic as a head of broccoli?
One of the best parts about our test kitchen manager, Brad Leone’s, job is his weekly trip to the farmers’ market. It’s his responsibility to supply the kitchen with ripe produce, protein, and pantry staples year-round. In the summer and fall, when the farms are cranking out the good stuff, Brad is like a kid in a candy store. Every Wednesday, he hits the market with his reusable grocery bags to stock up on what’s fresh and good—and do a little snacking and snapping along the way, of course. Check back here at our From the Market column to see what Brad picked up and, of course, to get some cooking inspiration of your own.
Romanesco is one seriously cool vegetable. It’s intricate, mathematical pattern makes it a fractal (you are totally allowed to nerd out on that). It’s part of the brassica family (other members: cabbage, kale, and cauliflower), and has a flavor similar to broccoli. Romanesco’s funky, fun appearance has been known to incentivize even the pickiest of eaters to eat their veggies, but we find that everyone, from kids to adults, loves romanesco—and perhaps no one more than Brad Leone, BA’s test kitchen manager. Here are his tips on buying and cooking it.
Pick the Best of the Bunch
Brad’s no slouch when it comes to sniffing out the best-quality veggies. Here are his tips for finding a perfect head of romanesco:
•Pick heads that are bright in color (vibrant green, deep purple, etc.).
•The stem should show no signs of wilting; it should be firm and not floppy.
•Look for heads that still have perky leaves attached, as that’s a good sign of freshness. If the leaves have been removed, there’s a greater likelihood that the vegetable is older.
•Heads should feel dense and heavy for their size.
How to Store ‘Em
Keep unwashed romanesco in a plastic zip-top bag in the fridge; you can chop it into florets, but rinse just prior to using. It’ll start to lose quality after a week, but Brad recommends cooking it within 24 hours of purchasing it (you’ll probably be so excited to cook it that you won’t want to wait, anyway!).
Romanesco can take on big, bold flavors—like anchovies.Photo: Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott
Michael Graydon + Nikole HerriottIdeas for Cooking It
Just like broccoli, romanesco can take you a long way from the crudité tray. Here are some ways Brad likes to prepare it:
•Blanch the florets and then shock in an ice bath to lock in that vibrant color. (They’ll become muted if you skip the shocking step.) Add the pre-cooked romanesco to salads, veggie trays, or even cold noodle dishes.
•It goes very well with pasta. Keep it simple with a hard, aged cheese and olive oil, or get fancy with something more saucy and complicated.
•Try it roasted or sautéed in olive oil with onions and garlic. Serve it on a sausage sandwich or a Italian sub. Don’t be afraid of getting a little char on the veggie; it can stand up to the flavor.
•Break it into florets and pickle them with garlic.
The most important thing to remember: Don’t overcook it. “You want to maintain the vegetable’s unique shape, not turn it to mush.”
Make This Now: Charred Romanesco with Anchovies and Mint
Romanesco Cauliflower Pasta with Olives, Capers, and Parsley
April 11, 2018
A simple and flavorful romanesco cauliflower pasta with parsley and bursts of saltiness from kalamata olives and briny capers. This vegetarian pasta recipe comes together quickly and can be easily adapted with regular cauliflower or other vegetables!
Romanesco Cauliflower Pasta
It’s been a hot minute since I shared a new pasta recipe with you! As most of you know, my love for pasta runs very deep. It is my favorite comfort food (far more than desserts and sweets!).
While I love branching out with most foods, I have a tendency to stick with the same tried and true preparations over and over again. I’d call it a pasta rut, but we love them so much that we never seem to mind.
Either way, one of my goals is to branch out and get more creative with our weekly pasta dinners, particularly as spring and summer unfold and we’re greeted with endless fresh produce. This roasted romanesco cauliflower pasta with olives, capers, and parsley (inspired by Alice Waters) is my latest creation.
It is a flavorful, simple pasta recipe that can be adapted easily and changed with the seasons. Best of all, you can use this basic framework and apply it to almost any vegetable!
Romanesco: Roman Cauliflower
Let’s start with the basics. Romanesco, commonly known as Roman cauliflower or ‘romanesco broccoli’, is very similar to cauliflower in both taste and appearance. You can cook it in exactly the same way, but I always prefer to keep the preparation simple to show off its appearance.
While it looks similar to cauliflower, romanesco has a few differences. Romanesco is lime green in color, slightly more delicate in flavor, and the tightly clustered florets are spiral in shape. It is one of the most beautiful vegetables (in my humble opinion) ever, and I get very excited whenever I see them at the grocery store or on a restaurant menu.
That being said, romanesco can be tricky to come by. Its season ranges from late fall to late winter. While romanesco will lend this dish a certain flair, please know that you can substitute it with regular cauliflower. The pasta will taste identical either way.
How to Cut Romanesco
Romanesco may look a little different than your basic head of cauliflower or broccoli, but you’ll want to prep it in much the same way.
Whenever I’m breaking down a whole broccoli or cauliflower, I start by removing the base and slicing the whole head in half through the base. Once I do this, I slice the halves into quarters. Standing each quarter upright and holding your knife at an angle, trim the florets from the core. Most of the florets will naturally break off and you can cut any remaining florets to match their size.
You’ll want to take the same approach with romanesco.
For this pasta, you’ll want to keep the florets quite small (bite size, so they’re well integrated in the pasta!). The romanesco florets are tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roasted at a high temperature until caramelized.
I love to roast romanesco, because it concentrates the delicate flavor and allows the florets to retain their beautiful shape and look.
The rest of the components of this cauliflower pasta come together in less time than it takes to boil the pasta on the stove!
Chopped garlic is sautéed in a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet on the stovetop, then combined with sliced kalamata olives, briny capers, and a generous pinch of red pepper flakes for a touch of heat. The olives and capers add a touch of saltiness, which I love, to each bite.
At the last minute, we’ll be adding lots and lots of freshly chopped Italian parsley. Don’t skimp on the parsley. It adds brightness and flavor to this simple pasta.
You can certainly top this pasta with grated parmigiano cheese or keep it as is! A little drizzle of peppery high-quality extra virgin olive oil would be excellent too.
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Total Time: 35 minutes
- 1 head of romanesco (or cauliflower)
- 2 heaping tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 heaping cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons capers, roughly chopped
- large pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 heaping cup chopped Italian parsley leaves, lightly packed, plus more for garnishing
- 1 lb dried linguini or fettuccine pasta
- freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, for serving (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit with a rack in the center position.
- Trim and discard the base of the romanesco and cut it in half, then quarters. Standing each quarter upright and holding your knife at an angle, trim the florets from the core. Most of the florets will fall off or can be separated easily with your fingers (you want the florets to be no larger than an inch in diameter); cut any larger florets in half with a knife to match the size of the other florets. Place the florets on a half sheet pan and toss with 1 heaping tablespoon olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper. Distribute the florets cut-side down into an even layer, making sure that the florets aren’t touching one another if possible. Roast at 450 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, tossing halfway, or until caramelized and tender.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Heat the remaining olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring continuously, or until fragrant. Do not allow it to gain color. Add the kalamata olives, capers, and red pepper flakes to the pan, and sauté for an additional minute or until warm. Taste for salt and pepper. Add half of the parsley to the skillet and keep the mixture warm – off the heat – as you cook the pasta.
- Boil the pasta until it is al dente, reserving a cup of cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot and add the kalamata olive and caper mixture and roasted cauliflower. Toss the mixture together gently, adding the remaining chopped parsley, and a touch of extra virgin olive oil and reserved cooking water if dry. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately and garnish with chopped parsley and parmigiana cheese as desired.
Tips for Success:
- Romanesco (which also goes by the name of Roman cauliflower) is in season from late fall to late winter. While romanesco will lend this dish a certain flair, it can be trickier to come by.Feel free to substitute it with regular cauliflower. The resulting pasta, while not quite as striking, will be very similar in taste!
Inspired by Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food.
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 428 Total Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 10g Cholesterol: 1mg Sodium: 411mg Carbohydrates: 66g Fiber: 8g Sugar: 5g Protein: 15g A Beautiful Plate provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician.
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What is The Difference Between Romanesco, Cauliflower, and Broccoli?
DGrad; Getty Images
Even though they’re all part of the same family of vegetables and thus have similar qualities, these three tree-like produce items have subtle differences that make a difference in the context of what you’re cooking. So it’s time we set the record straight on what’s what. Despite the fact that they are all members of the family Brassica oleracea, these leafy greens vary in taste, texture, and ideal preparation methods. So next time you’re headed to the produce aisle for a healthy fix of crunchy cruciferous veggies, make sure you know what you’re signing up for with each of these foods.
Image zoom Photo: Aya Brackett; Styling: Amy Wilson
Easy never tasted so awesome.
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Romanesco, most likely the least familiar name of the bunch, and not to be confused with romesco, is an edible bud that is also commonly referred to as Romanesco Cauliflower or Romanesco Broccoli, depending on where you are. Confusing, right? It’s coloration falls somewhere in the middle of broccoli and cauliflower, but what truly sets it apart from the others is it’s unmistakable texture. It’s spiky yet symmetrical style looks like an unsolved math puzzle, and offers a super textural, crunchy experience. Similar to broccoli, Romanesco is great for anything from crudites, to a simple steamed dish, or even roasted on a sheet pan. Expect a flavor closer to broccoli, with a slightly earthier profile.
Related: Different Types of Broccoli
Cauliflower and broccoli, which you’re probably much better acquainted with, share additional differences other than the fact that the former is white and the latter is green. Cauliflower florets are packed much tighter, and the stems are often much firmer and less fibrous than that of broccoli. Without going too Bill Nye on you, even though these two foods belong to the same plant family with kale and cabbage, where they differ is their cultivar group. In other words, if you think that cauliflower is white broccoli, you are sorely mistaken. Like other hearty leafy greens, they’re best roasted, steamed, or shaved raw in salads. Cauliflower lends itself well to being pureed and mashed into a smooth velvety texture, where broccoli’s texture and stronger, more cabbage-like flavor does not make it the best veggie mash situation.
Image zoom Cranberry-Almond Broccoli Salad
So yes, they all have florets and loosely look like the shape of small trees, but these are all three very different vegetables that offer a myriad of varying nutrients, flavors, and textures. If you’re a fan of at least one of the three, take that leap of faith into the great abyss of unknown leafy greens and give it a whirl. You never know what hearty discover you might find.
What Is Romanesco and How the Heck Do You Cook It?
You may have seen this alien-looking green thing lurking in cooler-season farmers’ markets, but probably haven’t tossed it into your eco-friendly tote since, ya know, you don’t have any idea what the heck it is or what you’d do with it.
Meet your new fave fall veggie, romanesco. Here’s everything you need to know.
Image zoom Aphelleon/Antonova Ganna/
What Is Romanesco?
This funky looking vegetable is also called Romanesco broccoli or Roman cauliflower, but it’s neither broccoli nor cauliflower. Some also call it broccoflower, but that name refers to green-colored cauliflower, which it is not. (It’s not broccolini or caulilini either.) Rather, romanesco is part of the brassica family along with cauliflower, cabbage, and kale. As such, it’s more closely related to cauliflower than broccoli. (Did you know there are a bunch of different types of kale?)
Romanesco dates back to 16th century Italy but didn’t debut in the U.S. until the 1990s. It has a texture similar to cauliflower but is slightly crunchier with a bit of a nutty flavor. It’s covered in cone-shaped florets that make it look sort of like a miniature Christmas tree. (Cute, right?)
It’s available during the late fall and winter and you’ll find it sold as a head (similar to cauliflower), which can be up to 5 pounds each (!!). You can probably find it at your local farmer’s markets or in select supermarkets when it’s in season. (Keep an eye out for these other fall fruits and veggies at the farmer’s market, too.)
Romanesco Nutrition Facts
One-half cup chopped romanesco provides 10 calories, 2 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber, 1 gram protein, and is fat-free. It also provides numerous vitamins and minerals including a whopping 90 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin K (important for bone and heart health) and 60 percent of the daily recommended amount of the antioxidant vitamin C. It’s also a good source of folate and vitamin A, providing 10 percent of the daily recommended amount of each. (Nutritionally, it’s pretty similar to broccoli: One-half cup of chopped broccoli provides 15 calories, 3 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber, 1 gram protein, and is fat-free.)
Buying and Storing Romanesco
When selecting Romanesco, look for heads that are bright in color and have their leaves still attached. The stems should be firm and show no signs of wilting. When you pick up a head, it should be heavy for its size. Once you bring it home, store your fresh Romanesco unwashed in a resealable plastic bag in the fridge for up to 1 week.
How to Cook Romanesco
You can prepare romanesco similar to cauliflower or broccoli—raw or cooked—but remember that it still has its own unique flavor.
- Blanch romanesco florets for several minutes in boiling water then shock on ice so they don’t get mushy. Add larger chunks to crudité, soups, or grain bowls, or chop and add to pasta, rice dishes, or omelets. (Try this recipe for squash and rice grits with romanesco.)
- Steam the florets and remove immediately from the heat so they maintain their crispiness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and a touch of extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
- Add it to a tofu, chicken, or beef stir-fry with other vegetables like carrots, snow peas, and mushrooms.
- Roast them (like in the recipe below) or this recipe for roasted romanesco with caper-mint salsa and chili flakes.
Garlic-Roasted Lemon Romanesco Recipe
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 1 pound Romanesco, cut into bite-size florets
- 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- In a large bowl, add romanesco and garlic. Drizzle olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss evenly to coat.
- Spread romanesco florets on prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, turning florets halfway through until slightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to slightly cool
- Drizzle with lemon juice and serve warm.
What is Romanesco?
Is it broccoli or cauliflower? If you’ve been confused by this veggie you’re not alone. In fact, Romanesco has a lot of other names like Romanesco Broccoli, Roman Cauliflower, Broccoflower, Romanesque cauliflower, Buzzy Broc, and Romanesco Cauliflower.
This beautiful vegetable is a hybrid of cauliflower and broccoli.
It’s loaded with health benefits and makes a great substitute in any recipe that calls for broccoli or cauliflower.
I love using it in this soup, or cauli-Tuna, or detox salad recipes.
Romanesco was first identified in Italy back in the 16th century. It is usually available in the cold season, around late fall or winter.
Aside from its beautiful and unique appearance, romanesco is also good on the inside as it comes with a lot of health benefits.
In general, cauliflower helps slow tumor growth and fights off cancer, specifically bladder, breast, prostate, ovarian and colon cancer.
With its high levels of vitamin C and carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene that act as antioxidants, romanesco fights off free radicals, boosts your immune system, and promotes healthy skin.
Romanesco is also loaded with vitamin A, B, C, and K, manganese, magnesium, protein, phosphorus, potassium, and omega 3 fatty acids.
In particular, the vitamin A in romanesco boosts your eye health and reduces your risk of macular degeneration, while the omega 3s boosts your heart health, regulating your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Since romanesco is a part of the cruciferous veggie family, it contains glucosinolates, which are sulfur and nitrogen containing compounds that naturally cleanses your kidney.
It is also rich in iron and folate, which are both known to help increase the production of red blood cells, fight off anemia and boost reproductive health, and zinc, which helps fight loss of taste sensation.
Additionally, romanesco is high in fiber, so it is good for your gut health and weight loss goals. It helps in proper digestion, prevents constipation, and curbs cravings. Two cups contain 4 grams of fiber and just 40 calories.
Make sure to buy it organic when available. Pick the ones with firm heads, without any signs of decay, and are heavy for their size to make sure they are fresh.
Other health benefits include:
1. Helps fight viral infections
2. Treats common cold and flu
3. Improves Lung health
4. Improves Bone health
5. Boosts brainpower
6. Supports Muscles