Romanesco cauliflower – easy-peasy recipe

Miss Thrifty9 October 14, 2010

romanesco cauliflower This is a Romanesco cauliflower. I came across it in Booths (posh supermarket – northern version of Waitrose) the other day and it was on special. The last one of these I saw, in another supermarket, it was on special. Romanesco cauliflowers are rather striking, as vegetables go, but I guess that people don’t know what to do with them. It was only 69p, so I took the bait.

And doesn’t this Romanesco cauliflower look amazing? It’s like something out of Dr Seuss or sci-fi. Apparently it is also a geek’s dream:

The inflorescence (the bud) has an approximate self-similar character, with the branched meristems making a logarithmic spiral. The shape could be described as fractal; each bud is composed of a series of smaller buds, all arranged in yet another logarithmic spiral. This self-similar pattern continues at several smaller levels. (Wikipedia)

When I started looking for recipes, I found loads online. The one that kept jumping out was a traditional and super-easy Italian recipe. My version is below:

Easy Romanesco cauliflower recipe

1.  Wash and chop into florets, as you would with “regular” cauliflower or broccoli.

2. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 / 190 degrees centigrade.

3.  Toss florets in a bowl with a splosh of olive oil (I used a couple of tablespoons), a couple of cloves of slice garlic, salt, pepper and a handful of grated Parmesan. If you don’t have Parmesan or Grana Padano, any strong hard cheese will do (mature cheddar, for example).

4. Spread onto an oven tray and roast for about 20-25 minutes. Serve piping hot.

Seriously, that’s all there is to it. Much easier than regular cauliflower cheese! It tastes surprisingly tender and delicious: the cheese gives it that little kick, and Romanesco has none of the bitterness or sourness that broccoli and cauliflower can sometimes have.

I served this as a side dish, with a salad and grilled sardines. I recommend that if you see a Romanesco cauliflower on special in your local shop or supermarket, don’t be shy! Give it a try.

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9 Responses to “Romanesco cauliflower – easy-peasy recipe

Johnny Debt says:

I am now feeling sorry for the Romanesco cauliflower as there are no comments.

I think the picture is a little off putting, but the recipe certainly does sound good!!!

October 19, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Traci says:

I think it looks like a fascinating vegetable, for sure!

November 15, 2010 at 5:14 am

Margaret says:

I bought a romanesco on our local market today(they’re so attractive); the stall holder didn’t know how to cook it, but said she intended to try. I decided to do the same, and said I would let her know how I got on.
Thanks for the recipe I shall certainly use it and pass it on to the market trader!

November 20, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Tim Haire says:

This is one of my favourite vegetables. Use it instead of brocali or cauliflower as a straight replacement. But as your recipe shows it can be so much more. I was drawn to it originally because I think it looks attractive, but then I am a mathematician and think all vegetables should look so fractal.

September 27, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Sepum Insania says:

For the full flavour, steam for about 15 mins. The flavour is slightly sweet but has a lovely creamy texture and looks great on the plate. Far more flavour than the ordinary couliflour and broccoli. As previous replies state, it can be used instead of cauliflower for cauliflower cheese, or in risotto and mixed veg dishes. Wonderful. Buy now before the masses catch on and the price sooms up.

December 23, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Killara says:

Wow…I will try the next Romaneso Cauliflower I see in the supermarket. Like you, I’ve avoided buying them, not knowing what to do with them. I have seen them in the most delightful flower arrangements, though.

OK. That sounds like an easy recipe and I’ll give it a go.

Thanks for sharing.

May 21, 2012 at 2:25 pm

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