Romanesco | Roman cauliflower | Broccolo Romanesco | Romanesque cauliflower
Always a favourite, romanesco is a show-stopper, due to it’s intricate and mathematical pattern forming a fractal. When compared to a traditional cauliflower, its texture as a vegetable is far more crunchy, and its flavor is not as assertive, being delicate and nutty.
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 you'll probably be so excited to cook it that you won't want to wait, anyway!
In the Kitchen
•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.