Easy to recognize from its fractal “chaos theory” appearance with green spikes. Romanesco is a variety in its own right, not, as you might think, a mixture ofand . But treat it like the latter rather than the former.
Keep in mind
The florets – or rather the spikes – have an attractive shape that brightens up most dishes. If you’re intending to run it through a food processor, you’d be better off using cauliflower as it’s cheaper.
How to cook romanesco
Everything that you can do with cauliflower you can do with romanesco. This impressive head of cabbage either shouldn’t be cooked at all or cooked carefully by steaming, stir frying or parboiling, in other words only cook it very briefly.
Think raw cauliflower but a bit tougher. You don’t need to break it up into large florets, it’s more fun to slice them thinly and eat with a good olive oil and sea salt.
Deep fried romanesco is amazing. Here’s how: Boil the romanesco. Make a batter from egg, flour, milk, salt and pepper. Coat the florets in the batter. Dip in hot oil until golden brown. Drain on kitchen towel and add salt.
Pickled romanesco is an attractive, crunchy side dish. Cut the head into small florets and bring to the boil – but no more – in a 1-2-3 solution. Onion in wedges, coriander seeds and cumin make good company.
Steam romanesco! If you don’t have a steamer, it’s fine to use a saucepan insert or a sieve. Divide the head into evenly sized florets and sprinkle some salt flakes on afterwards.
Small romanesco spikes go well in a stir fry. Put them in towards the end so they don’t lose their crunch.
Oven-baked romanesco will be a bit more exciting if you toss the florets in garam masala, oil and sea salt. Put in the oven for approximately 20 minutes at 190°C.