The Funky, Cool Romanesco

by Lily M

Romanesco

Do you ever look at a Romanesco and think "woah, what the fruit is this?"

So, what is Romanesco?

Romanesco is one seriously cool vegetable. Its intricate, mathematical pattern makes it a fractal. It's part of the brassica family (other members in this family are cabbage, kale, and cauliflower), and has a flavour similar to broccoli. Romanesco's funky, fun appearance has been known to incentivize even the pickiest of eaters to eat their veggies.

The nutrition & benefits of Romanesco

As a vegetable Romanesco is not only a wonderful source of vitamin C, but also rich in fiber, protective carotenoids and a set of phytochemicals that may protect our bodies against molecular degeneration.

The iron and folate in Romanesco are known to boost red blood cell production, and even aid in reproductive health. And one more thing for non-tasters to take note of: consuming Romanesco may actually stave off a loss of taste sensation as we age.

How to keep Romanesco Fresh

Keep unwashed Romanesco in a plastic zip-top bag in the fridge; you can chop it into florets, but rinse just prior to using. It'll start to lose quality after a week, but it is recommended to cook it within 24 hours of purchasing it (you'll probably be so excited to cook it that you won't want to wait, anyway!).

Some ways to cook Romanesco 

  • Blanch the florets and then shock in an ice bath to lock-in that vibrant color. Add the pre-cooked Romanesco to salads, veggie trays, or even cold noodle dishes. 
  • It goes very well with pasta. Keep it simple with a hard, aged cheese and olive oil, or get fancy with something more saucy and complicated.
  • Try it roasted or sautéed in olive oil with onions and garlic. Serve it on a sausage sandwich or an Italian sub.
  • Break it into florets and pickle them with garlic.

 

Recipes

Garlic and Lemon Roasted Romanesco

Romanesco Pasta


Roasted Romanesco

 

The most important thing to remember: Don't overcook it. You want to maintain the vegetable's unique shape, not turn it to mush.

 

References

Bon Appétit

Health Benefits Times

10Best