While walking through the produce section, this brilliant geometric object caught my eye. It actually reminded me a bit of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. How could something so cool just grow on a farm? Nature is amazing.
I purchased this mystifying vegetable, and then got to work learning a thing or two about Romanesco.
Aliases: Romanesco broccoli, or Roman cauliflower
Taste: Similar to cauliflower; can eat raw (but we preferred cooked).
Cost: This will depend on time of year, part of the country, and grocer, but expect to pay about the same as cauliflower.
How to cook it: Like broccoli or cauliflower, this plant can be broken down into a number of florets for bite-sized portions to steam, stir-fry, or roast. It was too beautiful to cut, so we roasted the head in tact, with a bit of Earth Balance butter and some oregano and basil.
Where/when to find it: Produce section of grocery store or farmers market during spring and fall. Romanesco grows well in cooler weather.
Coolest thing about this veggie: The cool spiral pattern follows the Fibonacci sequence. I think I first heard of that in The Da Vinci Code (because I’m better at reading than math). Like snowflakes and nautilus shells, heads of Romanesco have a fractal pattern, making all of these some of the coolest things in nature.
Romanesco: It’s what’s for dinner.
We didn’t want to muck up the beautiful design, so we probably made the simplest dinner ever. We turned the oven up to 400 degrees, and roasted the head of Romanesco with some Earth Balance margarine, and seasoning (basil, oregano, kosher salt). I suppose we were feeling green, and served the Romanesco in a nest of sautéed green beans with some onions and tomatoes. Ta-dah! Another plant-based, grain-free, delicious meal.