Weirdo of the Week: Romanesco!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Romanesco is a shock to the senses! Its gorgeous lime green to chartreuse hue, sometimes freckled with a purpley red blush, is mesmerizing. This hypnotic appeal is clear once you realize Romanesco is a stellar example of the fibonacci sequence, or golden ratio. Its florets radiate out in perfectly ordered fractal spirals before your very eyes!

In contrast to its funky appearance, this cabbage and broccoli relative is remarkably mild and sweet, with a texture that holds up well to cooking. Some would describe it as a nuttier tasting cauliflower. To start you down the path of weird food this week, try roasting a whole head of Romanesco with a simple glaze of lemon juice, thyme, and a generous helping of olive oil. It makes for a truly stunning presentation! For a heartier side, dish up this Romanesco and cabbage stir fry. You can use any rice; brown, wild, forbidden or otherwise!

This week’s brassica is also perfectly at home in a classic pasta dish made with just enough cream and cheese to make a decadent, simple meal. Romanesco also makes for a cozy soup when partnered with leeks and celery root, which is great for warming you on these increasingly chilly evenings! Finally, if you’re feeling especially ambitious, here’s a dish with roasted Romanesco and fresh made pasta. Personally, I would just stick with store bought ravioli, but perhaps you have greater homemade culinary visions! So get chopping and roasting, blending and eating, and enjoy this weirdo!

For more background about Romanesco and how to care for it and use it, look here.
For a bunch more recipes, look here.