As we move closer to fall, we begin to see more of the autumn produce that represents the season appear in local markets and at greengrocers. These are fruits and vegetables that grow well in cooler temperatures with fewer daylight hours. I love all the winter squash, hearty greens, and the wide selection of apples that are available each fall, but it is the unique veggies such as this romanesco cauliflower that I really have fun using in my kitchen.
Romanesco broccoli (also known as Roman cauliflower, Broccolo Romanesco, Romanesque cauliflower or simply Romanesco) is an edible flower bud of the species Brassica oleracea. First documented in Italy, it is bright green in color and odd spheres jutting out across its surface. Its flavor is more delicate than either broccoli or cauliflower with a slightly nutty flavor.
The Romanesco has been grown in Italy since the 16th century, and though it isn’t a common vegetable found here in Italy, in the fall, it does pop up here and there at greengrocers and outdoor markets. Romanesco is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, dietary fiber, and carotenoids, so it is a wonderful vegetable to enjoy during the cooler months as a veggie side dish for any roasted or grilled meat and poultry main course. Since this vegetable has such a delicate flavor, I like to cook it simply and flavor it with just a little garlic, chili pepper, and lemon.
Deborah Mele 2019
- 1 Head Romanesco (Broken Up Into 2 1/2 Cups Florets)
- 5 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Divided
- 4 Garlic Cloves, Minced
- 2 Teaspoons Fresh Lemon Zest
- Salt & Black Pepper
- 1/2 Teaspoon Red Chili Flakes
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Place the florets in a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.
- Spread the florets across the baking sheet, then bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and fork tender.
- In a frying pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat, then cook the garlic and chili flakes just until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. (Do not brown the garlic as it will become bitter.)
- Stir the lemon zest into the hot oil.
- Toss the roasted florets in the spiced oil until mixed, then serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 128 Total Fat: 12g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 10g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 115mg Carbohydrates: 6g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 2g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 2g