Saturday, February 28, 2009

roasted romanesco

My first time adventures cooking new-to-my-kitch veggies starting with the letter 'r' continues tonight with romanesco. Romanesco is a variant of cauliflower, first documented in Italy in the sixteenth century. I initially encountered romanesco when it started making appearances in the Google cafe. When it was listed as a featured item this week on EWTS, I decided I had to try cooking it myself.

It also just struck me that in addition to starting with 'r', all of the veggies I've been cooking this week have been really pretty. Aesthetically, romanesco does not disappoint. Like many things in nature, romanesco grows in a fractal pattern (which the math geek in me loves), exhibiting self-similarity on multiple scales such that it can be split into parts, each of which is a smaller copy of the whole. Fractal food!

Roasted Romanesco

1 head romanesco, broken into florets
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Add ingredients to a bowl and toss to cover. Bake in a 400 degree oven 45 minutes, until undersides are golden and caramelized. (We had rutabaga left over from earlier in the week, so I tossed that in as well.)

Fractal delish!


  1. Awesome photo! We were supposed to get romanesco from FFTY one week but they ran out. I was so bummed because I had been looking forward to photographing it!

  2. It may be simple, but it's nice to have a baseline for temperature and time! Great caramelized flavor with those gorgeous crispy edges. We just discovered romanesco last summer and always get a kick out of its crazy looks. Thanks for the recipe.


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