Also known as Romanesco broccoli, this stunning fractal* vegetable originates from Italy. The first time I saw it at my morning market, I was so blown away that nature could produce such an incredible and edible treat that I had to buy one. I mean…it’s a science project you can eat…or observe, if that’s your thing. With most things in Italy, my first instinct is to eat it. So I did. It was so good! It tasted more like cauliflower than broccoli and that is how I tend to approach it when considering it for a meal. Bonus, it is high in vitamins C & K. Any way you can cook regular cauliflower can be applied to Roman cauliflower, but here is a very simple recipe, should you find this fractal friend in your local grocer.
Basic Roman Cauliflower Recipe:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C)
- Cut the Roman cauliflower into small bite-size chunks
- Toss those little florets in olive oil (the better…the better), salt, and pepper
- Spread them onto a tray with some room
- Bake for 20-30 and done!
Want to kick it up a notch?
- Add sea salt for a crunch
- Add parmesan cheese (because when is cheese ever a bad thing?)
- Toss with truffle oil (caution: this stuff is very addictive!)
- Toss with pine nuts and garlic
*According to wiki: …the inflorescence (bud) has an approximate self-similar character, with the branched meristems making a logarithmic spiral. In this sense the broccoli’s shape approximates a natural fractal; each bud is composed of a series of smaller buds, all arranged in yet another logarithmic spiral. This self-similar pattern continues at several smaller levels…The pattern is only an approximate fractal since the pattern eventually terminates when the feature size becomes sufficiently small.
Want to get MORE nerdy on your food? Check this out!