Try It Out: Romanesco


The Try It Out series is back and this month, I’m encouraging you you pick up an oddly shaped vegetable at the market.

Romanesco is hybrid of broccoli and cauliflower. It boasts a bright green color and crazily shaped florets. The Romanesco heads are fairly small and much softer than cauliflower or broccoli, making it easier to eat raw.

“It’s so good,” said Susan Mulvey, who’s worked for Maciel Family Farms for more than 10 years. “You can steam it, sauté it, eat it raw. It’s beautiful.”

Romanesco might be a fun way to introduce cauliflower or broccoli to picky kids, as the fun fractal shape is appealing. You can substitute Romanesco for cauliflower or broccoli in your favorite soup recipes, which will give your dish a slightly different and creamier flavor.

“Romanesco is nuttier than cauliflower,” Mulvey said.

Maciel Family Farms sells the vegetable for $3 per head.

Try It Out

What: Romanesco

Why: The fun shape, plus the nutty taste and delicious texture is a great change from the usual (and admittedly sometimes boring) cauliflower and broccoli. Plus, the vegetable boasts vitamins C and K and fiber.

When: Now! Maciel Family Farms are selling it, but it sells out fast, so make sure you get to the market on time to snatch some up.

How: I took one head of Romanesco and broke up the florets, cutting the bigger ones in half. I drizzled them with some olive oil and seasoning salt and finished with a sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

I roasted them in a 400-degree oven for an hour so they caramelized and used them as a side dish. You can also steam them ever so slightly and serve with fondue!