Roasted Romanesco

Roasted Romanesco

Romanesco is a beautiful vegetable that belongs to the same family as broccoli and cauliflower. It has a striking green color and a fractal shape that makes it look like a natural sculpture. Romanesco is also delicious and nutritious, and can be cooked in many ways. One of my favorite methods is roasting it with garlic, shallots, lemon zest and olive oil, then serving it with a tangy and herbaceous Italian salsa verde. This is a simple and satisfying vegan dish that can be enjoyed as a main or a side.

Ingredients

  • 1 head of Romanesco – try to find one with evenly sized spires for uniform cooking. Use all parts of the vegetable, including the leaves and stem.
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4-6 large garlic cloves, sliced thinly
  • 2 shallots, cut into wedges
  • 1-2 tablespoons of lemon zest (optional, omit if using a different sauce)
  • Salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Remove the leaves and stem from the Romanesco and trim off any brown spots. Cut the leaves and stem in half lengthwise. Gently pull apart the spires with your fingers, keeping their shape intact. Cut the stem into thin slices. Don’t waste any part of the Romanesco!
  3. In a large bowl, toss the Romanesco pieces with olive oil, garlic, shallots, lemon zest and seasonings. Spread them in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the Romanesco is tender and slightly charred on the edges.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

How to Serve

You can serve the roasted Romanesco as it is, or with a sauce of your choice. I recommend trying it with Italian salsa verde, which is a fresh and flavorful sauce made with parsley, capers, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. You can make it in advance and store it in the fridge for up to a week.

To make the salsa verde, simply blend or chop together:

  • 1 cup of parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup of capers
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Salt to taste

To serve, spoon some salsa verde on a large platter and arrange the roasted Romanesco on top. You can also add some Calabrian chilies for some extra heat and color.

Enjoy this easy and delicious roasted Romanesco dish with some crusty bread, salad or pasta. It’s a great way to enjoy this unique and beautiful vegetable!

Variations

You can also experiment with different sauces and seasonings for your roasted Romanesco. Here are some ideas:

  • For an Asian twist, omit the lemon zest and serve with Szechuan sauce or green tahini sauce.
  • For a nutty flavor, replace the olive oil with melted butter or ghee and sprinkle some toasted almonds or hazelnuts over the roasted Romanesco.
  • For a cheesy touch, add some grated Parmesan cheese over the Romanesco before roasting.

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Hi, I’m Lydia and I love cooking and sharing delicious recipes. This blog is for you to find amazing meals using fresh and seasonal ingredients. You’ll find easy dinners, soups, desserts, salads and more. I hope you enjoy my recipes and let me know what you think. Happy cooking!

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