Romanesco is a stunning chartreuse-spired cruciferous veggie in the same family as broccoli và cauliflower. Here we’ve roasted it with shallots, garlic và lemon zest and served with Italian Salsa Verde and Calabrian Chilies.


What is Romaneso?

Think of Romanesco as the handsome Italian cousin of broccoli and cauliflower. Originating in the 1500s, near Rome as the name suggests, it’s a hybrid of cauliflower & broccoli and a stunning display of fractual design.

But please don’t be intimidated by Romanesco’s good looks or fame- it loves to lớn be treated simply lượt thích you would broccoli or cauliflower.

And most importantly, bởi vì not think for an instant that you are not worthy of this beauty- or couldn’t bởi vì it justice (my attitude for years).

It just wants to lớn be experienced.

Today we’ve roasted it in a hot oven until tender-crisp, preserving its beautiful chartreuse hue along with slivers of garlic and shallots and Italian Salsa Verde.


Serving it with a sauce allows you to lớn customize the flavor profile pairing it with what you are already making. Here we are featuring Italian Salsa Verde and Calabrian Chilies. But you can take this in many directions- see embellishments below!

Romanesco – Typically chartreuse in color, but purple & orange varieties can also be found. Try to lớn seek out ones will similar-sized spires- for even cooking. Use all parts of the Romanesco- leaves và stems. Shallot & Garlic– Fresh sliced garlic & shallots enhance Romanesco’s flavor. Optional additions: lemon zest, parmesan, depending on your flavor profile.

Expert Tips

Don’t toss the leaves or stem! Romanesco can be pricey- try khổng lồ use every part of the veggie- stem, leaves và all- see process photos. Don’t cut the florets– pull them apart with your fingers, lớn preserve their symmetry. Plus this is the fun part. Don’t overcook. Lightly steam, roast or saute- to preserve Romanesco’s vibrant color!
Start by removing the leaves & stems & trimming off any discolored edges. Slice the leaves and stems in half lengthwise.

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Gently pull the buds or spires off the stem, using your fingers rather than using a knife. This will preserve their shape.
Then trim và slice the stem thinly. Nothing is wasted here!
Place all parts of the Romesco in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, shallots, thinly slice garlic, lemon zest và seasonings.
Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan & bake at 425F until tender-crisp. Taste và adjust salt.
To serve the Romanesco, spoon your sauce of choice on a plate- here we are using Italian Salsa Verde- and place the Roasted Romanesco over the top.

Embellishments: Ways khổng lồ serve Romanesco

Romanesco can be served with a variety of sauces & paired with many flavor profiles. Here are a few khổng lồ get you started:

Drizzle a little of the Salsa Verde sauce over the top. Here we’ve adding Calabrian Chilies for a little punch of heat.

Romanesco Serving Size

One head of Romanesco feeds about 3-4 people as a side dish if you include the stems và leaves- but truth be told, Brian and I just split it, và there are never leftovers.

What to lớn serve with Romanesco

Serve with this Branzino, grilled chicken or chicken piccata , Stuffed Peppers, Cacio E Pepe, your favorite Salmon Recipe, or these easy Italian turkey meatballs!

Is Romanesco healthy?

Yes! Romanesco is related to lớn broccoli & cauliflower & contains similar health benefits khổng lồ cruciferous veggies. Cruciferous vegetables contain sulforaphane a compound that supports our liver, prevents DNA damage, and prevents cancer and/or its spread. It protects the brain, reduces allergies, inflammation & helps manage diabetes. Rich in fiber, Romaneso is considered a prebiotic & feeds our healthy gut bacteria.

What is the difference between Romanesco & Cauliflower?

They are similar in nutrients & flavor but are very different in appearance. Cauliflower is white with rounded florets; Romanesco is chartreuse with pointed fractual spires.

What is the best way to lớn cook Romanesco?

Because Romanesco is so uniquely colorful- cook it in a way that highlights & preserves its vibrant color. Lightly steam it until bright green, roast it on high heat until tender-crisp, or saute it lightly. My favorite way is lớn roast it.

Can you eat Romanseco raw?

Yes, like broccoli & cauliflower, raw Romanesco is actually good for the gut- a healthy prebiotic that feeds our good bacteria. It is also high in fiber.

Can you roast Romanesco whole?

Yes, though I would caution to par-steam it first until just tender và bright green, drizzle with olive oil and season, & then roast it. Steaming it first will help preserve its color.





Enjoy the Romanesco recipe! Introduce it into your kitchen this spring & gaze into its beautiful happy face.



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Prep Time: 15Cook Time: 20Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 2-4 1x
Category: side dish
Method: Baked, roasted
Cuisine: italian
Diet: Vegan

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Romanesco heads for sale at a Farmers Market.Looking lượt thích an elaborate work of art or alien from space, romanesco is an uncommon vegetable frequently available only at local Farmer’s Markets or to grow from seed. Also called romanesco broccoli or Roman cauliflower (even though it is neither one), this unusual cultivar of Brassica oleracea dates back lớn the 16th century. It is sometimes mistakenly called broccoflower, but that name really refers lớn green-colored cauliflower. This Italian heirloom that was once grown exclusively around Rome produces striking light green heads composed of numerous cone-shaped florets, each one growing in a logarithmic spiral. The pointed groups of buds are a cluster of branched meristems arising from a central stem in a spiral arrangement, creating a fractal pattern (a self-similar pattern). The heads can be quite large, up lớn 5 pounds each.
Romanesco requires the same care & growing conditions as broccoli, & looks very similar to lớn that other vegetable.The strap-like leaves are a dark blue green typical of broccoli or cauliflower & the plants look very similar to those other vegetables when they are growing in the garden.This cruciferous plant is as easy to grow as normal broccoli or cauliflower. Even though it is a cool season plant, it is best started indoors 4-6 weeks ahead of time và transplanted into the garden after the last frost.

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Seedling (L) and young Romanesco plant (R).Place the plants 18-24″ apart, in fertile, well-drained soil. Keep well watered & fertilize once or twice during the growing season. Romanesco plants are susceptible to the same insect & disease problems as other brassicas, so be on the lookout for cabbage caterpillars (imported cabbageworm (Pieris rapae), diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) & cabbage looper (Trichoplusia ni). You can cover the plants with floating row cover to prevent the adults of those caterpillars from laying eggs on the leaves but this can be challenging once the plants get large. Other controls include regular sprays of Bt or chemical insecticides labeled for use on cole crops.
A developing romanesco head.Heads should be ready khổng lồ harvest 75-100 days after transplanting. Once they are ready the entire head can be cut off with a sharp knife or individual stalks can be removed. Once the head is cut it does not typically produce new side shoots. Choose dense heads without any discoloration. Harvested heads can be stored in plastic in the refrigerator for about a week.
Harvested romanesco heads.Open pollinated heirloom varieties tend to lớn be quite variable in the size of heads produced as well as when they reach maturity. Newer varieties offer more compact plants with more uniform head size (and usually on the smaller size) và more predictable maturity. ‘Veronica’ is the most widely available named cultivar with reasonably sized heads.Romanesco has a mild flavor, often described as “nutty, slightly spicy” with a texture similar khổng lồ cauliflower. It can be prepared in a manner similar to lớn cauliflower or broccoli – eaten raw or cooked – but it has a different flavor than either of those vegetables.– Susan Mahr, University of Wisconsin – Madison

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