Pic of Sicilian Romanesco

Sicilian Romanesco

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Vegetarian mains

Sicilian Romanesco

Main Serves 2 40 min
The combination of chilli, pine nuts, lemon and currants is often found in traditional Sicilian cuisine – the influence of trade across the Mediterranean from the East. It gives a lovely sweet-and-sour combination. You can use ordinary couscous but giant couscous, which can often be found in large supermarkets, is even better.

Cook's notes

This also makes a really good pasta dish with cooked penne or fusilli replacing the couscous.


  • 200g couscous
  • 1 Romanesco or cauliflower, cut into even, bite-sized florets
  • olive oil
  • 25g currants
  • 50g pine nuts
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • handful fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
Image of Sicilian Romanesco


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 30 min
  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 190°C/Gas 5.
  • Step 2

    If you're using normal couscous, spread it out in a roasting pan, just cover it with boiling water and a pinch of salt and leave it for 30 minutes, then fluff it up with a fork. If you're using giant couscous, follow the instructions on the packet.
  • Step 3

    Meanwhile, toss the florets with the oil, salt and pepper. Spread out evenly on a roasting tray and roast for 10–15 minutes until tender and just beginning to brown. While the florets are roasting, soak the currants in boiling water for about 10 minutes to plump them up, then drain.
  • Step 4

    Toss the pine nuts into a small dry frying pan and heat them gently, stirring often, for a couple of minutes until they start to turn golden. Remove from the heat and tip into a small bowl to stop them cooking. Put the couscous in a large mixing bowl and stir in the currants, pine nuts, chilli, lemon zest, parsley and enough oil to give it a good gloss. Season to taste, then gently stir in the Romanesco.

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