Sunday, August 1, 2010

Recipe for Braised Romanesco Broccoli with Onions and Olives

Vibrantly lime-green, with florets shaped like spiky Balinese temples whirling around a central core, Romanesco broccoli is an attention-grabber.

When I picked out a head at Saturday’s South Anchorage Farmer’s Market, the queries started immediately: “What’s that?” “What’ll you do with it?” “Is that any good?” Despite my enthusiastic assurances, some questioners remained dubious about Romanesco broccoli’s edibility. An engineer decided to buy one only after I told him Romanesco broccoli is used by mathematicians to illustrate
logarithmic spirals and fractals.

A relative of both broccoli and cauliflower, the flavor of Romanesco broccoli is milder than either of its better known cousins. When well-cooked, the flavor is creamy and nutty, without the bitter edge some family members have.

Braised Romanesco Broccoli with Onions and Olives
Serves 4

Cauliflower, of any color, may be substituted for Romanesco broccoli. Plain Kalamata olives are delicious, though I prefer using
Roasted Kalamata Olives in recipes like this. Dry-cured or salt-cured olives (such as those from Thassos) may also be used, but be sure to taste them and use less than 1/2 cup if they’re strong flavored. The broccoli will cook more quickly and evenly with the right sized pan; ideally, you need a covered pan 2” wider in diameter than the whole broccoli.

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my little expat kitchen said...

I've never eaten this beautiful vegetable. It looks like a creature of the sea. I've seen it around at various markets but I've always been hesitant to buy it. I love Kalamata olives and olives from Thaso (well, I'm Greek) so I'll brave the broccoli along with some safe, Greek ingredients.

kitchen tables said...

This is my first time to see a broccoli like that. I have never seen anything like that before. I think that is a very rare type of broccoli. I wonder how it tastes.

Lannae said...

Oiy! That is the most beautiful as well as almost disturbing veggie to look at! I have never seen that veggie before. Thanks for sharing :)

Susan said...

It's been a while since I've seen these beauties in my markets. I'd like to try this recipe, Laurie. I've been smacking my lips since reading the title to the post.

Bijoux said...

What a beautiful dish! Whenever I see Romanesco broccoli I am captivated by it's beauty as it reminds me of an underwater sea animal. I've yet to try it though.

Anonymous said...

We grow this and it is beautiful to look at and lovely to eat!