I have never bought Broccoli Romanesco. I always admire its beauty at the market, and sometimes even put a head or two in my shopping basket, then change my mind. The vibrant chartreuse exterior and bizarre texture deeply appeal to me aesthetically, but I have been intimidated to cook it.
This week, we got our first CSA box from Riverdog Farm - one of my favorite stops at the Berkeley Farmer's Market. And what did I find.... 2 heads of Romanesco! I did some sleuthing about how to prepare this stunning vegetable. It seems that it can easily be steamed, roasted, etc, like any other broccoli and cauliflower. Plus I found out it is rich in Vitamin C.
I wanted to celebrate my new ingredient, so this is the recipe I had to try. I think you will really enjoy it - I am loving every bite as I sit here writing to you.
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living, November 2007
- 2 heads Broccoli Romanesco
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup cream
- 2/3 cup Parmesan, grated
- salt and pepper to taste
Remove Romanesco florets from stalk and separate into pieces. Thinly slice garlic. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic and Romanesco florets and cook about 8-10 minutes. Romanesco should begin to turn golden. ( If the garlic begins to burn, add a splash or two of water.) Then add 1/2 cup water and salt. Cover pan and simmer for 10-15 minutes until Romanesco is tender.
While Romanesco is cooking, gently warm milk and cream in a saucepan.
Place half of cooked Romanesco in a food processor or blender with half of warmed milk/cream. Blend. Put blended Romanesco in a bowl. Repeat with other half of ingredients. Then add 1/2 cup Parmesean, salt, and fresh ground pepper to taste.
Serve purée on top of your favorite crackers, or on little slices of bread that have been pan-fried in butter. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Enjoy!