Romanesco broccoli – a veggie so perfect, it will make you believe in divinity. Alright, that might be an overstatement, but seriously – have you ever seen a more perfect vegetable than this one? You can read more about this miracle broccoli here , but here are some main things you should know, before I tell you how I cooked it for this #homemadeMonday.
- Romanesco broccoli comes from the brassica family and is perhaps easiest to imagine as a mix of broccoli and cauliflower .
- The soft of the Romanesco broccoli is actually softer than both cauliflower and regular broccoli and has an almost nutty flavour. Meaning that even if you don´t like the other two, you might actually love this one.
- It´s shape is so perfect, it makes it a fractal. Ever hear of Fibonacci sequences? Yeah, the Romanesco broccoli almost has them.
- It dates back to 16th century Italy and its colour is not just green, but chartreuse.
- While it´s becoming fairly popular in Portugal, it´s still quite rare. So if you see one, make sure to snatch it!
Now that we have those facts out of the way, let me show you the absolute easiest way of cooking one.
a Romanesco broccoli (ideally still with leaves)
three cloves of garlic
two tbsp olive oil
half a lemon
salt and pepper
1. Gently but thoroughly wash the Romanesco broccoli and peel off the leaves if it has any.
2. Vertically section the broccoli in pieces that are about 1-1.5 cm in thickness. Note: This is easier as you approach the middle of the veggie, if it´s truly fresh, the sides might crumble into florets, but that´s ok as you can use those for a salad or a sandwich. Try to get at least two sections for the main dish though.
3. Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees while you place the broccoli sections (and florets if any arose) on an oven tray with a baking or aluminium sheet.
4. Sprinkle the broccoli with olive oil, season it with salt and pepper, then smear with the crushed garlic cloves. Finally, squeeze half a lemon over it and bake for 20 minutes.
5. Serve with a piece of salmon or chicken breast and some yogurt and garlic sauce.