Saturday, February 4, 2017

Eat Your Veggies: Romanesco

This week at the grocery store my daughter and I came across a most unusual-looking, new-to-us vegetable that looks like a pointy, geometric cross between a cauliflower and broccoli. It was so beautiful that we both stopped to check it out! The sticker on the vegetable said "Romanesco;" The label on the stand said "Romanesco Broccoli" and then, when checking out, the same veggie rang up as "Romanesco Cauliflower." So what is it??

Romanesco broccoli cauliflower

Well, it's all of the above! It's a cross between cauliflower and broccoli that grows in a gorgeous fractal pattern and has many of the nutritional benefits of both vegetables. It's really good for you and you can prepare it the same way you would either vegetable: raw in salads, steamed, roasted, baked, or in casseroles.

Romanesco pointy broccoli cauliflower

I decided to steam mine. I washed, trimmed, and quartered the Romanesco and then cut out the thick core and stem. I gently broke apart the pretty pieces and steamed them for about 10 minutes, until fork tender. They tasted so good! It's more of a firm cauliflower texture, with a nuttier, more interesting taste (more like cauliflower but not exactly. Better, and sweeter, but not as strong as broccoli!)

steamed Romanesco

I ate some of the Romanesco warm with salt. The rest, I immediately rinsed with very cold water until they were cold (to stop them from cooking further and getting mushy) and saved them in the fridge. They have a perfect texture and taste to go into a salad, cold! They remind me of the texture of those little tiny corn cobs you find in salads sometimes. Plus they are so pretty, they would be stunning in any simple dish.

One cup of Romanesco contains approximately 4 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein, and provides 94% of the RDA of Vitamin C, all for just 20 calories. Are you ready to try this new vegetable? I think you'll like it!


Anonymous said...

Wow, that is beautiful. I have never seen anything like it.

Susan R said...

Oh my stars! Maybe that is a close up shot making it look so frightening! We have nothing like that in my neck of the woods.

Luna1959 said...

Looks like an alien life form!

Lyn said...


LOL! It is pretty amazing looking! The whole thing ("head") is about the size of a regular head of cauliflower, so each of those pointy parts are the size of a broccoli floret. Pretty interesting to look at! I totally want to serve this to guests sometime.

MaryFran said...

That looks really cool!!! I'm going to have to look that up and try some!!