Romanesco is a pretty amazing looking vegetable. As soon as it comes into the market, people stop and point it out to friends and family. It looks like something that grew on an alien planet! One of the most interesting things about Romanesco is that it's an excellent example of a fractal existing in nature. A fractal is a self-similar pattern – which means that “it looks the same from near or far.” I could fill this page with mathematical lingo (from wikipedia) but let's just say that Romanesco looks like a Christmas tree, made of Christmas trees, that are made of even tinier Christmas trees... and so on! In fact, one of our customers picks up a few for her son's math class every year.
While Romanesco looks like the punk-rock offspring of broccoli and cauliflower, it is in fact it's own cultivar. In the distant past, it's most likely ancestor is cauliflower, although some people say broccoli. The flavor is like a mild broccoli or slightly more flavorful cauliflower, and the texture is more similar to cauliflower. It can be used anywhere you would use either of the two more common vegetables, but it makes a bigger impact with those funky, pale-green pyramids.
Recipe: Roasted Romanesco
Raw on veggie trays, in soups or casseroles, roasted with other veggies, steamed or sauteed and served as a side... there are so many ways to enjoy it!
Also like most cruciferous vegetables, Romanesco will keep for quite a while in your refrigerator. Cover it loosely in a plastic bag to keep it from drying out.
Long Term Storage:
Like most cruciferous vegetables, Romanesco keeps well in the freezer. Rinse, trim, blanch, and load up some freezer bags to enjoy out of season.