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Oct 13, 2008 05:03 PM

Romanesco Cauliflower

I couldn't resist an amazing cauliflower at the Farmer's Market: all green-y yellow and covered with points and bumps so that it looked like a landscape of minarets. The farmer had labelled it Romanesco, and said, Oh, just cook it like any other cauliflower. Somehow, I think it deserves --- or demands ---- more. Anybody ever hear of Romanesco cauliflower, and does anyone have any suggestions for a good recipe?

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  1. It's beautiful. Works well in soup, or eat raw, or cook like normal broccoli/cauliflower.

    1. We see this quite a bit in UK supermakets and I think one of its best uses is just steamed as a side veg. when some green is required. A dish like chicken in a white sauce with mashed potatoes needs some colour,and this is a nice alternative to the usual suspects.

      Also a gratin using a red colured cheese would be good. Over here I use Shropshire Blue which is a bit like an orange Stilton.

      1. It does cook like regular cauliflower. I have recently tried making a side dish with Deborah Madison's mustard caper butter, and it was gone immediately. Here is the recipe for the dish (I made it without the brussel sprouts).

        2 Replies
        1. re: emerilcantcook

          That mustard caper butter with the romanesco certainly hit the spot! I would try it again with brussels sprouts; but I'll probably never again see the romanesco, at least not till next fall. Our growing season is OVER and the Farmer's Market is vanished... Tonight I'm trying the other "last offering," a big purple cauliflower, and I think I'll try Nyleve's roasting method. But, oh! the green was lovely.... Thanks, all.

          1. re: emerilcantcook

            A search for ideas of what to do with romanesco brought up this post, which seemed perfect as I had from my CSA a tiny head of romanesco, a small amount of broccoli, and some Brussels sprouts. I halved the mustard caper butter to use with that mixture of veggies and it was great. I usually pass on recipes that call for flavored butter with vegetables, thinking that it would mask the taste of the vegetables themselves, but these strong cruciferous ones really could stand up to the robust flavor of mustard, capers, lemon zest, garlic. Definitely a keeper-recipe for me!

          2. There was recently another thread on this same vegetable - but it was called romanesco broccoli. I posted that I broke mine up into flowerets, tossed in olive oil and roasted as I would a regular cauliflower. It was delicious and really beautiful. The edges got nicely browned while the flowerets became tender but still crisp. Delicious.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Nyleve

              Nyleve, right that was a post I made. So is this vegetable considered a broccoli or a cauliflower?

              1. re: HillJ

                It looks like the beautiful but illegitimate love child of a cauliflower and a broccoli - conceived while under the influence of psychedelic drugs. But I believe it's actually more cauliflower than broccoli.

                1. re: Nyleve

                  ah, one of those trippy veggies, huh (wink).
                  I still can't seem to find a local source; dreaming about such delights thru CH.

              1. re: toodie jane

                toodie j, I read the same wiki and started a similar thread.
                None of the farmers I've spoken to in NJ could point me in the direction of a local source. Still searching..

                1. re: HillJ

                  HillJ, I don't know where you are in NJ but I just saw them at the greenmarket in NYC. they can't be too far from you!

                  1. re: Sophia.

                    writing to NYC colleague as we speak ...tyou, Sophia.