(Doesn't it look like it's waving hello?)
Sunday morning, while we were meandering around the W Street farmers' market, Mr. S. and I came upon some Romanesco. I was ten shades of excited (I love the stuff); whereas, he raised a skeptical eyebrow at my crazy exuberance over the alien-looking vegetable. Besides being tasty, Romanesco to me are the coolest looking vegetables. The electric lime-green fractals make them look like something straight out of a video game...like some sort of chartreuse nubbin-covered cauliflower asteroid. I bought one from the vendor, figuring the kidlets would get a kick out of it and Mr.S. could sample one.
When it was time to cook the sucker up, I decided to go simple in the preparation-- small florets, lightly roasted with just a few basic spices. Mr.S., Kidlet #1 and I ended up eating the entire head as a snack. It was tender, delicate tasting (it tastes like a cross between broccoli & cauliflower) and absolutely delicious!
1 head of Romanesco, smaller florets removed from core
1/4 cup olive oil
2 pinches of red chili flakes
a few grinds of fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon of coarse sea salt
1/2 of a fresh lemon
Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Heat oven to 400 F.
- Place florets in a bowl. Add olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Toss well, using your hand, so that all the florets are coated evenly.
- Spread florets evenly on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Roast for 20-30 minutes or until tender. (They'll get a tiny bit charred...the brown caramelized bits are the best part.)
- Remove from oven.
- Give the lemon a quick squeeze over the florets.
- (Optional) Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top
- Serve immediately, while still warm.