Hand drawn image of Romanesco

Romanesco

Brassica oleracea var. Botrytis Romanesco

You can’t fail to be impressed by the bright lime green colour and mathematical perfection of romanesco. Its virtues extend beyond this marvellous appearance; its crunchy texture and nutty flavour will also add wonder to your plate.

Image of Romanesco being produced

In the kitchen

Storage

Delivered from our farm, so wash before cooking. Kept in the fridge with the leaves attached, it should last at least a week.

Prep & Cooking tips

We’ll deliver it with the leaves attached – they’re the best kind of packaging but are also good to eat. Cut the main head into florets like you would a cauliflower, and don’t forget the stalk – it’s often the best bit, with a wonderfully sweet flavour. Slice it into similar sized pieces to cook with the florets.

Cook just as you would a cauliflower. Roast (for the best flavour), boil, steam or stir-fry – just don’t overcook it! It should take 10 mins in a hot oven but no more than 3-4 mins in boiling water or a hot wok. The leaves can be wilted and eaten like greens and the stalk is edible, delicious and cooks in much the same way as the florets, if slice into chunky batons.

Easy ideas

1. Salad

If you cut the florets into small, manageable pieces, they make a great addition to a salad. You can use them raw for a bit of crunch and a delicate radish-like taste, or cook them lightly first if the idea doesn’t appeal. The peaks, spirals and cog-like edges hold and trap dressings very well. Try dressing with a classic vinaigrette and pairing with watercress, sliced shallots, blue cheese and walnuts.

2. Treat it like a cauliflower

As the shape and dimensions suggest, it is more or less interchangeable with a cauliflower in most recipes. It is slightly firmer and has a nuttier flavour. The stalks and leaves are useable too. Cauliflower cheese is an obvious choice, but use it in everything from fritters to curries to soups. You can even pulse it into coarse crumbs to make the increasingly popular cauliflower rice; the colour may be a little odd but romanesco rice has a nice alliterative ring to it.

3. Roast

If cut into small florets, rubbed with oil, seasoned well and cooked in a fiercely hot oven it roasts in 8-10 mins. A little spicing of cumin or smoked paprika is ideal, or dress with a squeeze of lemon while hot and toss with chopped parsley and capers.

Goes well with

Butter
Capers
Cheese
Chillies
Citrus
Mustard
Nuts (Hazelnuts, Pine nuts)
Olives
Spices (Cumin, Coriander, Turmeric)
Vinegar

Romanesco recipes

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In the field

  • Meet the grower: Kate & Andrew Maciver-Redwood, Haye Farm, Devon

    Kate & Andrew run Haye Farm on the Cornish bank of the River Tamar growing purple sprouting broccoli, kale, cauliflowers, leeks and romanesco.

    Read more

Seasonality

It is in season through the late summer, autumn and early winter but is easily damaged by hard frosts.
jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sep
oct
nov
dec

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