Romanesco is a relative of cauliflower and is a pale green vegetable with a dense head in the shape of spiraling florets. The florets of the vegetable resemble a natural fractal in which each bud is composed of a series of smaller buds. It is by far the most visually intriguing vegetable. Its flavor profile is sweeter and nuttier than cauliflower. It is cooked similar to broccoli or cauliflower, mostly roasted or steamed.
A Brief History
Romanesco is traditionally grown in Italy around Rome and Naples dating back to the 16th century. The florets of this vegetable resemble a natural spiraling fractal. The logarithmic spiraling allows for buds to be efficiently arranged throughout the flower which yields more seeds than a typical plant of the same size. Many botanists believe the plant’s naturally-occurring pattern has likely been reinforced by selective breeding by Italian farmers. The florets of Romanesco are quite delicate and must be handled with care.
How to Select:
When selecting Romanesco, look for firm heads that are heavy in weight (dense) and show no signs of discoloration or withered florets.
How to Store:
Place Romanesco in the crisper of your refrigerator wrapped in plastic. It should last about three to four days in the refrigerator.
How to Prepare:
Always rinse your produce under cool water before using. Romanesco can be prepared many ways similar to broccoli and cauliflower. Begin by cutting it into florets and blanch, steam, roast, saute or dress it with good olive oil, garlic, salt and paper. It can also be left raw for a veggie platter. For recipes check out our blog.
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