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Jan 16, 2007 08:08 PM

name my vegetable, and tell me how to cook it

Hi 'hounds,

I'm currently in Rome, Italy (watch for my posts on the Italy board!) and I just went to the market with my fiance. He became mesmorized by a very strange looking vegetable - imagine a head of cauliflower, but bright green, and instead of florets it has geometrical pyramids sticking off of it, made of smaller pyramid-ic florets growing in a spiral. It's currently in season here, so we bought one, and I'm at a loss. I was hoping my Marcella would mention it, but she doesn't include it (probably thinking, rightly, that it's rather uncommon in the US!). Either the English or Italian name would be appreciated!

Thank you very much!

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  1. Sounds like romanesco, aka "romanesco broccoli". It's not common, but you can find it in the US. Don't like it. Tastes a bit like brussels sprouts.

    1. I think you've got what I've seen called broccoflower here. At least it's in the broccoli/cauliflower family, and could be cooked in the same way -- beautiful!

      1 Reply
      1. re: alaughingdog

        It is broccoflower and readily available in the markets right now where I live. Treat is like cauliflower

      2. I've only had it/ seen it in a restaurant (in British Columbia) and it was served roasted, similarly if you were to do it with cauliflower. It tasted like cauliflower too. It is very pretty.

        1. romanesco, cauliflower hybrid. perhaps it wasn't around when Marcella wrote the classics . . .
          it's fairly easy to find in NYC these days.

          roast it or pan fry with pancetta, so you can keep looking at the trippy geometric florets

          1. YES! Zeldog, that's it in the picture. We bought it to look at it longingly - I think I will try roasting it Katie Nell - that sounds good (in our mini-oven though... ah, italian apartments!). Or maybe raw. I'll see what fiance wants to do (he just fell asleep on the couch... long flight!).

            Thank you all!