Romanesco has an exotic appearance compared to regular broccoli, but its similar flavor and texture makes it a suitable replacement for traditional broccoli florets in most recipes. The florets form a spiral fractal pattern that makes it as attractive as it is flavorful when served on its own or when used as an addition to pasta, salad or vegetable dishes. Romanesco only requires light cooking to bring out its mild nutty flavor. Overcooking results in mushy florets and loss of the broccoli's signature taste.
Rinse the romanesco under cool water. Shake the excess moisture from the florets.
Set the romanesco head upside down on a cutting board. Cut out the large center stem with a sharp knife, allowing the florets to separate and fall from the stem. Leave the florets whole or cut them into smaller, bite-size pieces, as desired.
Fill a pot with 4 cups of water. Dissolve 1 tsp. salt in the water. Bring the water to a full boil over medium-high heat.
Place the prepared florets in the boiling water. Return the water to a full boil and cook for five minutes or until the romanesco florets are fork tender.
Drain the romanesco in a colander. Serve plain or toss with 1 to 2 tbsp. of butter. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Season romanesco as you would broccoli. Parmesan cheese, roasted garlic or sprinkling of lemon zest complement the natural flavor of the romanesco.
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