Broccoli Romanesco or Cauliflower Romanesco

November 19, 2007 4 Comments

Broccoli Romanesco or Cauliflower Romanesco

What Is This Interesting Vegetable?

My wife brought this odd looking vegetable home from the farmers market they have at her workplace. I had never seen one before but it certainly looked interesting so I steamed it up and served it as a side dish with our meal that night. It was delicious. Tasted like cauliflower but only more tender.

I don’t think you will find it in many supermarkets but if you can find it, try it. This relative of the cauliflower family is lime green and has cone-shaped florets.  You want to select heads that are very dense and bright in color and stay away from any with bruised florets. This can stay in the refrigerator for about a week, but I promise, it won’t last that long once you taste it.

Only Martha Stewart

My wife happened to be looking at her Martha Stewart November 2007 Living Magazine and what did she find? A recipe featuring Broccoli Romanesco and Parmesan Puree.  Only Martha would have a recipe for an esoteric vegetable only found in local farmers’ markets. And, it looks like a great one I can’t wait to try this Thanksgiving.

If you can’t find Broccoli Romanesco, you can substitute a head of broccoli and a head of cauliflower instead.

Broccoli Romanesco or Cauliflower Romanesco

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 6-8 servings

Broccoli Romanesco or Cauliflower Romanesco


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2½ pounds broccoli Romanesco (about two heads), cut into ¾ inch pieces

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

½ cup water

Coarse salt (Kosher or sea)

½ cup whole milk

½ cup heavy cream

½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese plus more for adding at the end Freshly ground pepper, to taste

How To Prepare At Home

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the broccoli Romanesco and sliced garlic cook until brightly colored and starting to turn golden brown. This should take about 8 - 10 minutes. Remove and reserve a few pieces for garnishing but leave the rest.

Add water and 1 teaspoon of salt to the skillet. Cover and cook until the broccoli Romanesco until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain any remaining liquid from the skillet.

In your food processor or blender, puree half the broccoli Romanesco and transfer to a large bowl. Puree the remaining broccoli Romanesco.

In a separate saucepan, bring the milk and cream to a gentle simmer. Add the milk and cream mixture to the food processor with the second batch and pulse to combine. Add this mixture to the first batch in the bowl and mix gently together.

Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano, season with salt and pepper and mix together. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Garnish with the reserved broccoli Romanesco and a little more of the Parmigiano cheese.

Serve as a side dish.

Last modified on Wed 16 July 2014 9:18 am

Filed in: Side Dish Recipes

Comments (4)

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  1. Cynthia Oduro says:

    I like your recipies

  2. Hallie Ruth McGonigal says:

    From time to time I have found the Cauliflower Romanesco at Whole Foods Market. It is beautiful to see and delicious. To me it looks like sea creatures grouped together with an intricate shell system. Almost like a coral of many textured cones. I’ll bet Martha Stewart could make a beatiful center piece with this vegetable as well as a tasty dish.

  3. christine says:

    I roasted it with oil, salt and pepper. It was much better than just steamed and the flavor was subtle but enchanting.

  4. susan says:

    Some recipes call for keeping, rather than destroying, the beautiful form of the romanesco head.

    I’m not exactly sure what you are referring to, but it sound good. – RG

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