Romanesco and Parmesan Purée

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!


  1. Chris SilvermanJanuary 26, 2010

    That looks and sounds friggin delicous. Thanks Yummy Super for another great dish!

  2. Those things are just so beautiful; the art of nature.

  3. I never knew what it was called but it was sold in abundance in the morning market at Treviso when I was living in Italy, pity I didn't find your recipe earlier! Thanks for sharing and I'll attempt it as soon as I see one, though they haven't made an appearance here in Beijing

  4. The first picture is SO beautiful!! Love the angle you took the picture. The puree sounds delicious!


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